“Direct Supervision” is a progressive jail behavior management system that has gained rapid acceptance across the nation during the last 25 years. Detention facilities that employ “Direct Supervision” have drastically lowered the number of assaults, extortion, property damage and lawsuits than traditional management systems. In addition, “Direct Supervision” allows for less expensive construction of facilities due to the improved behavior of detainees.
In the “Direct Supervision” model, a Detention Deputy is continually supervising the detainees through a system of rewards and consequences. The deputy works within the living area and is in direct control of the detainees at all times. The expectation of positive conduct (normal adult behavior) is evident in the physical design of the facility. Deviation from expected behavior results in progressive discipline.
The “Direct Supervision” management model has been proven to be superior to our previous linear style because:
Vandalism is almost eliminated
The facility is clean
Noise level is low
Detainee assaults on both detainees and staff are significantly reduced or eliminated
Detainee behavior is positive
Staff is more responsive and confident
Detainees respond to staff direction
Stress on staff and detainees is reduced resulting in fewer behavior problems
With all this in mind, one must remember that direct supervision does not work for all detainees. For the detainees that don’t fit in, or have a difficult time following direction (8% to 10% on the average), we do have segregation units. Our segregation unit does not use the direct supervision model. Segregation or “high risk” type detainees have more expanded lockdown time and many fewer privileges than the direct supervision general population units.