Supervision, detention and educational services for youths referred by the Georgia juvenile court system; $321 million budget; 4500 employees
Whenever troubles with their staff members arose, supervisors in the department’s juvenile correctional facilities often reacted with a harshly punitive response. This approach was neither effective in solving disciplinary problems nor in keeping with the agency’s mission statement.
Working with an implementation team made up of supervisory and management personnel from facilities across the state, we designed a Discipline Without Punishment process that was appropriate for this paramilitary organization. We created and conducted train-the-trainer workshops that enabled trainers to build skills and to get buy-in from tough, old-school supervisors and managers.
The department successfully implemented a discipline process that emphasized personal responsibility and required supervisors to treat all employees with dignity and respect. After one year of experience, 91% of the agency’s managers and supervisors said they wouldn’t go back to the old traditional discipline system. Nine years later, the system continues to operate successfully.