Direct Supervision

Five (5) of the seven (7) housing units are direct supervision. This means there is a Housing Officer trained in interpersonal communication and direct supervision assigned to work inside the housing unit.

There are nine (9) principles and three (3) dynamics of direct supervision:

Principles of direct supervision

  • Classification and Orientation
  • Competent Staff
  • Effective Communication
  • Effective Control
  • Effective Supervision
  • Just and Fair
  • Manageable and Cost Effective Operations
  • Ownership of Operations
  • Safety of Staff and Inmates

Dynamics of direct supervision

  • Directions
  • Consistency
  • Consequences

The first recognized local ‘new generation jail’ opened in 1981 in Contra Costa, California and was an immediate success. The key concept of direct supervision is placing a Corrections Officer in the unit and not isolating them from the inmates by bars or control rooms. Research has shown that Corrections Officers in the units get to know the inmates and can recognize and respond to trouble before it escalates. The staff is proactive rather than reactive. The staff is more dependent upon negotiation, communication, and conflict management skills rather than physical strength. Direct supervision is a combination of management and operational philosophy, facility design, and staff training.