2 answers

What are some ways to build your confidence up knowing you are going to be dealing with people who are in trouble and going to jail?

2 answers

Wanda’s Answer

Updated Dickinson, Texas

I'm not a police officer, I am a teacher. I worked with juveniles who were already locked up. I counted the pencils that went out and it had to be the same number coming back in or there would be a strip search. What I found with these older teenagers is that they just wanted to be treated with respect. They were old enough to understand why they were locked up and they didn't need anyone to sugar coat anything for them. I found that blunt honesty was seen as respect. I didn't offer any fairy tale stories about how their life was going to magically become wonderful, but I did let them know there were ways to turn things around. Until they gave me a reason not to, I treated them with the same respect and dignity I would anyone else I met. I also set my expectations for their behavior high because I wasn't going to give up on them or let them treat themselves like they were less than. Humans screw up. We learn, we grow, and we do better. Each person knew that I honestly believed they were capable of being better than their mistakes. I think that is the most important part; you must be able to truly believe that the people you are working with are capable of being better than their mistakes. I even offered to be the one who believed in them until they were able to believe in themselves again. It is amazing what it can do for a person for someone to have faith in him/her.

Karen’s Answer


Perhaps people who are in trouble or going to jail need your help more than others. We don't always know the background or circumstances that caused a person to get into trouble. Sometimes things are done without an intention to harm someone. If you can keep an open attitude and realize you have an opportunity to serve those most in need, you will be doing a great service. Just keep reminding yourself of the important work you are doing!

With every good wish.

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