Released by: Chief Deputy Keith Howard
Release date: June 2023
Morgan County Sheriff’s Office launches a revolutionary initiative.
In early May 2023, the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) teamed up with two Atlanta area businesses to launch a revolutionary initiative. The MCSO partnered with Warrior Leadership LLC and Minds of Distinction to provide a two-phase training initiative that instructed inmates and staff on critical communication skills and conflict resolution techniques.
On May 13th, the L.E.T. trainers presented a working skills class. This pilot session highlighted the importance of understanding strengths and weaknesses and expanded on the connection with job satisfaction and family harmony. The two-hour session helped to establish rapport between the facilitators and participants paving the way for the follow-on conflict skills session to be held the following week.
From May 19th to 21st, inmates and staff were brought together in a combined learning environment for a three-day Leader Effectiveness Training (L.E.T.) workshop. The MCSO leadership and staff provided full support by generating innovative ideas for converting a jail chapel into a classroom environment conducive to adult learning.
In attendance was MCSO Jail Commander, Captain Derrick Reid. In the planning phase of this initiative, Captain Reid was mindful of the class barriers that exist between the inmates and staff, so he permitted civilian clothing for all participants. This set the stage for inmates and staff to comfortably exchange ideas and concerns, to learn from one another, and most importantly to see each other as real people with real problems. Captain Reid and his team of Correctional Officers were open to a different way of communicating but were ever conscious of participant security and ensured that proper procedures were followed to avoid any potential incidents.
Jeff Herold and Mike Ogle from Warrior Leadership and Henry Maynard from Minds of Distinction facilitated the Leader Effectiveness Training Workshop. L.E.T. teaches an actionable set of skills to improve communication and conflict resolution skills. This knowledge improves relationships and reduces tension. L.E.T. provides an easy-to-follow roadmap for navigating conflict and managing defensiveness. L.E.T. was founded in 1962 by Dr. Thomas Gordon of Gordon Training International (GTI). Vice President of Gordon Training International [Michelle Adams] said, “This workshop is the first-ever L.E.T. session of its kind in GTI’s 60 years of existence. We are proud to be a part of this groundbreaking event.”
This collaborative effort was designed to empower inmates and staff by teaching them practical skills that they can use to improve their lives. The training covered a variety of topics, including effective communication, conflict resolution, and impactful leadership skills.
By focusing on these key areas, the program aimed to foster collaboration and promote positive relationships within the jail, and help participants build positive relationships outside the jail as well.
This collaboration will help to make a positive difference in the lives of others and sets an example for innovative conflict resolution approaches that can be used successfully within correctional facilities. The feedback from the participants highlighted the outstanding success of the program and the excellent instruction from the trainers.
When asked how the skills would help in the performance of their jobs, participants reported the following:
“Why didn’t I learn this twenty years ago?”
“I will better be able to discuss and resolve conflicts and problems at work.”
“It showed me how to communicate better.”
“I see a more harmonious environment to build relationships.”
“I’m more capable of communicating my emotions and needs to bosses without being overwhelmed.”
“Being able to be an active listener.”
“This workshop really opened up my mind and I realized I have not been a good listener.”
“It will help me a lot; instead of putting out fires, I will start investing in my relationships.”
“Better communication skills among coworkers & better ability to gain understanding of inmate needs.”
“By trying to see how others feel about the situation and how we both can come to an agreement.”
“As a future business owner, it will definitely help me coordinate a better and more productive work environment for employees.”
When asked how the skills could make a difference in their personal/family relationships, participants shared the following:
“This will help with my communications with my family.”
“Will allow me to speak to a loved one without conflict and get both om needs met.”
“It makes your relationships better with family.”
“I will communicate better with my wife.”
“Improve active listening and gear-shifting skills with significant other.”
“Instead of thinking of how they are acting, see things from their point of view and work on a compromise.”
“Being able to express myself better and understand their point of view.”
“Communicate with my parents in a whole new manner and I’ve learned to active listen more.”
From the feedback from both inmates and staff, it is clear that the envisioned goal of this collaborative effort seems to have hit the mark for all participants.
MCSO would like to thank Jeff Herold and Mike Ogle of Warrior Leadership LLC and Henry Maynard of Minds of Distinction for donating their time, expertise, and facilitation of the workshops.
MCSO would also like to thank Gordon Training International for their very generous donation of more than $2,500 in training materials.
Sheriff Robert Markley and Chief Deputy Keith Howard were proud to lead this effort with more events to come in the future.
Training of this kind is truly “out of the box” thinking and could revolutionize the way we see rehabilitation efforts in our community.
For information on how to bring this unique training to your organization, please contact us at: email@example.com
Training packages available: