Justice professionals are typically exposed to people from different walks of life. As such, it is imperative that they are aware and educated about cultural nuances to better understand and relate with the people they encounter as a part of their job. Cultural awareness is an essential skill for justice professionals to better serve the public.
Today’s instructor is David J. Rogers. He is enrolled with the Nez Perce Tribe of Idaho and is the CEO and Chief Instructor for Tribal Public Safety Innovations, a consulting and training company. David has 44 years’ worth of experience working in criminal justice having served as a patrolman, lieutenant, captain, probation officer, and court commissioner.
On this course, David will expound on the importance of cultural awareness in the criminal justice field, specifically for probation officers who must foster working relationships with their clients to create lasting behavioral changes and prevent recidivism.
Points tackled on the webinar include:
- The complexities of tribal jurisdiction illustrated by the various legislation and case law that it is linked to.
- An overview of the beginnings of the Tribal Probation Basic Training.
- The initial response to the cultural awareness program.
- The significance of the cultural awareness training for probation officers in order to be more effective in understanding the people they work with and in turn, affect behavioral change.
- The Tribal Law and Order Act 2010 which was enacted to:
- Address the challenges facing probation in terms of jurisdiction within tribes and tribal lands.
- Promote collaboration between tribal and non-tribal justice agencies.
- Why it is impossible to design one risk and needs assessment given the diversity within tribes.
- Case studies that present the issues faced by tribes like probation manpower, poverty, unemployment, and drug trafficking, among others.
- Things that a probation officer must do to observe cultural awareness.
- Communication as the number one skill for probation officers and how it can advance cultural awareness.
- The different modes of communication that humans engage in and body language that we must be mindful of to maintain cultural awareness.
- Pointers to prevent unintentional prejudice.
- A look into the various dimensions of diversity that may generate discrimination.
- Primary dimensions such as age, gender, race, and disability that a person is identified with and cannot change.
- Secondary dimensions like religion, language, education, and occupation that though an individual may change may still cause discrimination.
- Ways that we can all improve on cultural awareness through small changes in our communication style and behavior.
- Questions raised by the audience are on:
- Addressing issues related to diversity between probation officers and clients.
- Potential funding for the trainings.
- Accommodations that the probation department may extend for clients experiencing poverty.