Webinar presenter Dave Rogers answered a number of your questions after his presentation, “Cultural Awareness for Probation Officers and Justice Professionals.” Here are a few of his responses.
Audience Question: As a supervisor, what do you recommend we do if we begin to observe a diversity understanding disconnect between staff and client?
David Rogers: If I were the supervisor and I’m beginning to observe that one of the things that I would wanna do is to really to identify mentor-instructors from that particular culture or ethnicity or diverse group and have them come in and do the presentation to my staff. Even as a Chief of Police of a tribal police department, all new officers who came on the department had to attend the cultural and history program that was mandatory for employment. Even with members of the tribes, I had to go through it even as I am the Chief of Police. And that is very beneficial. So, reaching out and finding somebody from the community that you’re having a challenge with and bring them in to do a presentation to the staff I think that is the best thing you can do plus that’s going to make a new connection. And it’s going to probably open up doors for work with that particular type of client.
Audience Question: Where can we look at the funding sources for training on diversity?
David Rogers: Wish I could answer that, I don’t know. I don’t know what funding sources available for any kind of diversity training. I think the best that you could do is just start checking some of the entities like the Bureau of Justice Assistance and the Office of Victims of Crime and places like that. I don’t know what they’ve got. I personally I don’t know.
Audience Question: Poverty must be a huge issue that probation officers have to be aware of in managing their probationers, have you seen probation requirements adopted to help these unique probationers?
David Rogers: I’m not sure I understood that question. Could you run that by me again?
Audience Question: I think that they’re fundamentally just asking whether or not probation requirements can be adapted to help people that are in a position or poverty, where they may not able to make some of their weekly site visits because the time to take to just access transportation to the probation location. Do you see any kind of allocating for that kind of scenario?
David Rogers: Yeah, especially working with the tribes, we see that there’s a pretty ongoing and routine challenge and so one of the things that really emphasize in our case management in case planning for clients who fall into those categories is to take into account and appreciate the challenges that they face based on their economic and social status and also where they may reside. Sometimes whether you’re in the city or you’re out in the country sometimes we talk about some significant challenges for being able to achieve some of the goals on the court order, or the condition of probation, so just making arrangements for that, and acknowledging that and preparing for that something that we really do encourage with all of our students come through that program. I hope I answer that question correctly. I think that’s we where going.
Host: Do you have any final closing and comments would like to share at the audience?
David Rogers: No, I appreciate it. It is always difficult when you do a webinar presentation and all exactly what the audience is looking for. I just thought if I threw it at this angle from the tribal side as an example, it may just might a little bit different approach. We’re still talking about the same things regardless of tribal or not. So, I just thought it just a different and maybe a unique approach to prior that one. So, I appreciate those of you hang in there with me.