NATIONAL CORRECTIONAL RECREATION ASSOCIATION
29TH ANNUAL CONFERENCE MYRTLE BEACH S.C.
MARCH 6TH - 10TH, 1996


Recent Developments in Correctional Recreation

Thursday Keynote Address Darlene Veltri
Educational Administrator FBOP


External Developments

1. Policy matters (state or congress)
    amenities being taken away
    Zimmer Amendment was attached to the appropriation bill
       says couldn't spend money in some areas
       couldn't purchase or repair weight lifting equipment
       couldn't purchase or repair electronic music instruments
       no movies rated R or C-17
       no in cell TV's (not currently in Federal Prison cells anyway)
       no in cell coffee pots or hot pots
  Looking for alternatives

2. Public perception of inmate amenities
    Referenced the Feb 1996 article in Corrections Today
    Butler vrs. Reno Case  female services vrs. male services

Internal Developments

1. Overcrowding

2. Population changes (growing older, female pop growing, more
violent gang oriented)

3. Disturbances
    Lots of disturbances in Federal Prisons in late fall
    NE Region had a rec meeting to look at disturbances.
         32% occurred in Rec areas
    Rec staff have been injured
    Considering how many baseball bats to allow out at once
    Because of the disturbances, some Rec staff feel guilty 
       for running the programs

4. Our own agency policy changed
    Had a inmate organization fund raising program
    Person property allowed changes
       changed the award and rec items they could have
    Perhaps bad timing having all the changes together
    Upper management now recognizes Recreation as a 
       management tool
    Recreation is getting more visibility
    Staff to inmate ratio and $ are improving in Federal system
    The warden's expectations are getting higher
    Getting into new areas (wellness and physical fitness)

5. The staff has changed (different generations working together)
    Two career families, more of a family orientation
    For promotion the bureau has asked people to move a lot
    Now have a family leave program
    Not saying if the changes are good or bad - 
       just a whole new set of expectations
    Most important thing - How do we staff and train the rec staff?
    In the Bureau, 48% have less than a BA
      Of those with degrees, only 37% are in a rec related field
    Have been hiring a lot of people, had significant turnover
       Caused lots of demand on supervisors
       Unions like it because backing their staff vrs going 
          outside for new people
    The feds are looking at mandatory rec training
    Professional organization involvement (NCRA) like this is excellent
        Bringing ideas from other facilities will keep us fresh
    Feds bring people from the field and see whats going on in other institutions
    Sometimes internal programs (Operations Review) done internally
    
    Another area- just modify our programs as they go on today
    Getting into whole new area of wellness, health promotion, disease prevention
    Trying to figure our how to do wellness assessments without killing the staff off

    Feds have some institutions with special missions
        Medical facilities, General facilities
    Should the expectations be different?

    Selling our programs
        Need to be good at selling
        reduce idleness
        reduce stress, tension
        teaches positive use of leisure time that will stay with them when released
        wellness

    Job accountability
        How can we show we are doing a good job?
        There will be two sessions in this area later in the conference

    They have been putting inmate participation data into a computer
        Wellness participation has doubled in the last year

    How can we access the impact of the programs on the inmates?

6. How are we using our limited staff, money, and space? 
    Can only stretch people so far
    Might contract our for help (interns, etc.)
    
    Feds did a review of function to interview staff on a number of 
            areas to determine how to streamline operations
       What are the low priorities that we keep on doing?
       They got some good creative ideas
       Data was organized and a team of people looked at the suggestions
       Now many of those ideas are being implemented

    Need to be more creative
    Looking at a compressed workweek (Four 10 hour days at one site)
     
    Sometime we just need to eliminate programs that effect a small % of the population

    Need to look at ways of funding
       Commissary, channeling

    Space - trying to offer all these programs in a limited area
        Might ask mechanical service to come over and give you a space survey

    Managing limited resources is going to become a bigger issue 

7. Communication
   With other depts and them with us
   Between state/federal/county facilities - all in this together
   Look to communities with similar problems
   Communicate with the inmates
      Even if they don't like the message - open, candid, straight conversation
         will go over better


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