The Oklahoma Department of Corrections continues to develop and expand the skills of its staff to professionalize its workplace from prison yards to probation offices. In additional to traditional training in self-defense, firearms, and lockdown procedures, ODOC will soon provide employees tools to enhance the interpersonal aspects of their jobs, racial intelligence, creating a more empathic workplace culture. Racial intelligence is less about race and more about respect.
This week, ODOC is hosting a two-day training session by top-rated professionals in the field of emotional and social intelligence for law enforcement and corrections staff. RITE Academy instructors are teaching training staff from ODOC and several other state law enforcement agencies about situational awareness, empathy communication, and conflict management. RITE, which stands for Racial Intelligence Training and Engagement, teaches officers techniques to identify their emotions before they engage with others. Specifically taught, controlling your emotions allows you to control your situation. “This training is especially helpful for correctional officers right now as inmate agitation has increased due to their limited movement because of COVID-19,” says ODOC Director Scott Crow. “Lessons in de-escalation techniques will prevent confrontations inside facilities.”
Class participants will soon travel the state teaching their colleagues to recognize emotional intelligence, combine it with social intelligence, to unlock their racial intelligence. Increasing one’s racial intelligence, provides staff tools to better serve the public, their colleagues, and their agency’s mission.