Download communicating with prison inmates - (EPEA)

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Basics of Communication
Sender – message - receiver
Verbal & Non Verbal communication
Main Features of Social
• It is purposeful
• It can be determined
• It is adaptable
• It is co-ordinated
• It can be improved
How is communicating with
inmates different?
• Context
• Relationship
• Us vs them
• Agendas
• Personalities
• Prison life
• Purpose
• Other dynamics
Active Listening
• In communication and conversation, the
parties involved will ‘reinforce’ one
another for participating and speaking
through a number of behaviours.
Verbal Communication
• Surface structure - syntax
• Deep structure - meaning
• Speaking involves the transformation of
deep structure into surface structure.
• Listening involves the transformation of
surface structure into deep structure.
• Paralanguage
-the elements of speech: “It’s not what
you say, it’s the way that you say it”.
• Signalling ( + Guggles)
- the system used to achieve conversation
control and time sharing.
• Constructing a summary of what has been said,
picking salient points and feed it back to speaker.
Reflecting back
• Simple reflection – Repeating parts of what has
been said, using the person’s exact words with an
Amplified reflection - A statement made in a more
extreme fashion than the respondent has done.
Double-sided Reflection – Repeating parts of what
has been said when these are incongruent
• Unless you are certain what the other
person is saying, we have to ask.
• Using a person’s words to question what is
being said. Requesting clarification in the
case of ambiguity.
• Extension probe – extends understanding
• Clarification probe – explain meaning
• Non-verbal probe – encourage speaker to
"the answer you get depends on the
question you ask"
• Open ended questions
• Closed ended questions
• Forced choice
• Multiple questions
• Leading / misleading questions
• Do talk someone down
• Do look at the situation from the person’s point
of view
Do allow the person to express feelings
Avoid vocal tone of sarcasm
Avoid tone of incredulity
Avoid tone of impatience
Avoid too extreme an overstatement
Avoid making a fool of the person
Avoid presenting discrepancy in an indigestible
Do offer adequate explanations of what you are
doing and why.
Non-verbal communication
Appearance & Facial expression
Do not wear or carry things which are potential
Do not rely on a hefty physique.
Do watch for signs of anger (e.g. frown, tight
lips, clenched teeth, changes in pitch, volume).
Do not show it too much if you feel angry.
Do appear concerned and have a serious
Do use a calm tone of voice.
• Emblems – gestures which have specific
verbal translation.
• Illustrators – used to complement,
emphasise or repeat the verbal content.
• Regulators – serve the purpose of
signalling turn-taking in conversation.
• Postural Echo- People who are in tune/out of
tune tend to match / mismatch each other nonverbally.
• Do match ‘friendly’ behaviours.
• Do not match threatening behaviours.
• Do not allow too much mismatch in moods.
The physical closeness of parties involved.
Depends on type of social interaction & culture.
• Do not get too close to clients.
• Do watch out for signs that the client is
uncomfortable with your nearness.
• Personal space – area surrounding the body.
• Personal territory – larger area which a person
controls, owns, or uses exclusively.
• Home territory – areas otherwise public spaces
which are used by a particular group.
• Direction which people take towards one another.
• Co-operation
• Do sit or stand alongside or at an angle.
• Do not get into an ‘up-down’ position.
• Do not turn your back on, or walk in front of, a potentially violent
• Do not let the exit get blocked.
Eye contact
Continuous staring can be challenging and
threatening, and may indicate active
• Do change the situation in some way if the
way the client is looking at you makes you
feel uneasy.
• Do not overdo the eye contact.
• Do have a natural way to break eye
Touch is an ambiguous signal and is easily
misinterpreted. Aggressive touch invites
aggression but even sympathetic touch
can break a barrier and lead to violence.
• Do think twice before touching a client
especially if he is emotionally upset.
Environmental characteristics
• Physical size of area used
• Furniture in room
Dominance Rituals
• Rituals which enable a person to lead
• The niceties of courtesy should not be
Intention Movements
A person’s posture or gestures can signal an intention or wish
to attack, which is being suppressed or redirected at that
Do watch out for these signs:
Tensing of muscles, especially fists, arms, neck.
Client becoming very restless – or very still.
Swinging foot back as though about to kick or stand up.
Arm raised and then lowered.
Top half of body jerks as though about to stand up / move
‘Vacuum Gestures’ - complete actions but no contact with other
person e.g. hand chop, ‘strangling’ action.
‘Redirection Gestures’ - complete actions but redirected against
self/object e.g. clutch own throat, bite own knuckle.
Importance of proper closure.