What would you do? Write ups versus communication with inmates

Is it better to implement a write-up for every infraction, or are some incidents better handled through communication?


Check out the scenario below and add your thoughts in the comments. Is there one side you would take? Why or why not?

By Anthony Gangi

Two officers are holding a gentle discussion in the unit. Officer Smith believes that every violation, no matter how small, must be documented and served. He believes that every rule has a purpose and once an inmate violates a rule, they must be served a charge (ticket/write-up).

Officer DeCarlo believes in the opposite. He believes that communication is key, and there are some violations that can be better handled through a dialogue with the inmate. He believes that communication helps to maintain order and aids in the overall control of the unit.

AP Photo/Elaine Thompson

As this discussion continues, their supervisor enters the unit. As the supervisor begins her tour, both officers approach her and state their side of the discussion. The supervisor sees merit in both angles of approach. On one hand, you have the need for the rules to be followed; but on the other, from her experience as a floor officer, a lot of smaller issues could be handled through communication.

If you were the supervisor and only able to choose one way of thinking, which would you choose and why?

This article, originally published 09/18/2015, has been updated. 

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