Realistic De-Escalation for Corrections Professionals

8-Hour Course

Course Description

Corrections professionals working in prisons, jails, reformatories, and penitentiaries have come under intense pressure to prioritize their efforts at de-escalation. The legitimate goal of de-escalation tactics is to resolve critical situations with minimal harm. This course will discuss the often-challenging expectations of corrections professionals to gain compliance without using physical force and identify indications when this may not be realistic or safe.

This training is designed to improve corrections officers’ ability to manage individuals by enhancing skills to establish contact, build rapport, and gain influence to achieve the defined objective. Participants will learn how to apply and address the needs of those in a mental health crisis or whose state of reality is altered. Instructional lectures will cover key concepts and methods that support de-escalation efforts when a personal connection can be made. Learning outcomes will include understanding the core skills of incident stabilization, tactics, decision-making, and verbal and non-verbal skills to establish contact, build rapport, and create influence with difficult subjects.

Training & Learning Objectives

At the end of this training, participants will be able to:

  • Articulate what ‘de-escalation’ actually means, what the objectives of de-escalation are, and in what situations de-escalation can and cannot be considered.
  • Discuss the tactical principles of de-escalation, risk assessment and decision-making.
  • Quickly evaluate an interaction to determine whether de-escalation efforts are reasonable to consider, tactically practical, and likely to be successful.
  • Apply critical Force Science concepts such as the “Response-ability Zone” and the “7 T’s De-escalation Evaluation Model” to evaluate tactics that are needed or likely to be successful in supporting a de-escalation process
  • Enhance their ability to make a connection, establish rapport and apply effective principles of persuasion with difficult subjects, including mentally ill subjects, through the application of the ‘Behavioral Influence Stairway Model’.
  • Employ specialized questions specifically designed to cognitively engage individuals in crisis and increase the likelihood of resolution that either avoids force or minimizes the amount necessary to obtain control.
  • Apply the "Thought | Emotion | Behavior" (TEB) Matrix to recognize whether a subject is in conflict, crisis, or has contaminated thinking and determine which persuasion strategies are most likely to be effective.
  • Better ensure that officers’ approach and control strategies maximize their response options while minimizing the potential for unnecessary emotional and/or physical escalation.
  • Balance the desirability of trying to resolve a conflict peacefully with the need to maintain officer and citizen safety.
  • Apply principles of officer self-regulation and emotional control in order to maintain rational thinking processes.
  • Recognize and list common barriers to effective communication that officers commonly use unintentionally.
  • Recognize and list common barriers to effective communication that officers commonly use unintentionally.
  • Discuss how professional de-escalation techniques embrace the concepts of "fair and impartial" and "rightful policing" principles.
  • Assist investigators and other personnel reviewing uses of force to recognize the pivotal behavioral and situational factors that must go into an assessment of whether de-escalation efforts might have been feasible or potentially effective.
  • Help community members and the media better understand what realistic de-escalation entails and the challenges that subjects may present that can inhibit, if not prohibit, an officer’s ability to safely de-escalate.

Need Custom Training?

Whether your department is looking for in-person training or a live instructor-led webinar, we can help! To learn more, simply fill out the form, and we’ll contact you within a few business days to review options and pricing.