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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 120666 Find in a Library
Title: How I Learned to Cope With Stress -- A Personal Perspective
Journal: Corrections Today  Volume:51  Issue:7  Dated:(December 1989)  Pages:48-50
Author(s): P Cove
Date Published: 1989
Page Count: 3
Type: Program/Project Description
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This corrections officer describes how the stress he experienced in his job affected his marriage and magnified his alcoholism.
Abstract: Corrections officers quickly learn to keep their emotions and fears to themselves. Because corrections work is confidential, officers find it difficult to talk to their spouses and civilian friends. They feel that the public is basically indifferent to the problems of corrections as long as criminals are incarcerated. This officer, who had already had a drinking problem, became an alcoholic. When faced with his problem, he went to a treatment facility recommended by the Boston Police Stress Program. When he returned to his facility, he was floated from site to site and shift to shift, rather than working only in the isolation unit. He also organized an informal peer counseling group and obtained financing for a pilot stress program. The program includes 23 correctional institutions and five police departments; it offers 12-step meetings, stress group meetings, one-on-one counseling, and crisis intervention. A sick time study showed a 179 percent reduction in sick leave used by officers involved in the program, which enjoys the support of both employees and management.
Main Term(s): Correctional officer stress; Peer counseling
Index Term(s): Alcoholism causes; Massachusetts
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