Understanding and Addressing Criminal Thinking Among Individuals in Custody

Understanding and Addressing Criminal Thinking Among Individuals in Custody 

Individuals in custody will try to coerce, deceive, or influence you in ways that test your ethical boundaries. You will have to choose whether to sacrifice your personal integrity and reputation for your own gain or the gain of someone else. In this course, you will learn about common criminal thinking errors of individuals in custody and strategies you can use to prevent yourself from being negatively influenced or manipulated. This course is applicable to correctional officers working in adult correctional facilities.


Hours: 2.00


Certificates provided by accrediting body (3 Match)

American Jail Association Certification


This activity is approved for 2.00 contact hours.

Oklahoma Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training


This class has been accredited by the Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training for 2.00 hours of mandatory continuing education credit. Regarding any law enforcement concepts, practices, methods, techniques, products, or devices as might be taught, promoted, or otherwise espoused in outside schools or seminars, there is no intent, expressed or implied, that ‘accreditation’ indicates or in any way conveys ‘CLEET approval’ of such concepts, practices, methods, techniques, products, or devices, unless such approval is explicitly stated by CLEET.

California Board of State and Community Corrections


This activity is approved for 2.00 STC credit hours.

Course Details

Course Code: REL-PS-0-WIP
Hours: 2
Type: Online Course
Content Expiration Date: 1/1/2025
Learning Objectives:
Define criminal thinking.
Describe at least 6 common criminal thinking errors that support and maintain a criminal lifestyle.
Explain the 3 C’s of criminal decision making.
Identify at least 8 tactics used by the criminal thinker and ways that individuals in custody try to manipulate/influence correctional staff.
List 8 ways you can avoid being influenced by individuals in custody.

Section 1: Introduction

About This Course

Learning Objectives

Section 2: Criminal Thinking

Consider This

What Were They Thinking?

Why Do You Need to Understand Criminal Thinking?

Criminal Thinking Defined

Criminal Decision Making



Section 3: Criminal Thinking Errors

Criminal Thinking Errors


Cognitive Indolence

Power Orientation


Knowledge Check





Knowledge Check



Section 4: Influence in the Correctional Environment


Influence on Staff

Criminal Thinking and Influence

The Process of Influence

Tactics to Influence



Section 5: Avoiding Influence

Protect Yourself

Follow Policies and Procedures

Know Who You Supervise

Control Your Response

Maintain Ethical Boundaries


Increase Your Knowledge

Trust Your Instincts



Section 6: Conclusion


Course Contributors




Instructor: Dee K. Bell, PhD
Dr. Dee Bell is a clinical psychologist and consultant in the areas of Restorative Justice, Juvenile Justice and Correctional Assessments. She retired as the Deputy Commissioner of Juvenile Justice at the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice. Previously, she served for four years as the Administrator of the Community Justice Institute at Florida Atlantic University and the Director of the Balanced and Restorative Justice Project sponsored by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. Prior to these positions, she has worked 30 + years in Community Corrections for Georgia and Florida State Government. Educated at Clemson University and Emory University, she has provided training in both state and national venues for many years and has authored and co-authored a number of articles on justice system issues and adult and juvenile justice curricula and restorative justice in communities and schools. Disclosure: Dee K. Bell, PhD has declared that no conflict of interest, Relevant Financial Relationship or Relevant Non-Financial Relationship exists.
Staff Writer: Kimberly Cobb, MS
Mrs. Cobb is a Lead SME Writer/Trainer at Relias. Her primary writing responsibilities are in the Health and Human Services vertical, in the content areas of public safety and behavioral health. Mrs. Cobb is also the onboarding trainer for new Relias staff joining the Content Department. Mrs. Cobb has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Correctional and Juvenile Justice Studies and a Master of Science Degree in Criminal Justice. She has over 24 years of experience working in criminal and juvenile justice. Her work includes direct service, research, and training and technical assistance. She was the statewide evaluator for the Commonwealth of Kentucky for adult, juvenile, and family drug courts; a Research Associate for the American Probation & Parole Association providing training and technical assistance to Native American Nations/Alaska Native Villages on systemic criminal and juvenile justice initiatives; and a Research Administrator for the University of Kentucky. Disclosure: Kimberly Cobb, MS has declared that no conflict of interest, Relevant Financial Relationship or Relevant Non-Financial Relationship exists.
Target Audience:
The target audience for this course is: Beginner, Intermediate level Social Workers; Correctional Officers; Entry, Intermediate level Psychologists; Intermediate level Marriage and Family Therapists; Intermediate level Professional Counselors; in the following settings: Acute Care Facility, Adult Corrections, Health and Human Services, Residential Care.
Relias will be transparent in disclosing if any commercial support, sponsorship or co-providership is present prior to the learner completing the course.
Course Delivery Method and Format
Asynchronous/Online Distance Learning; please see certificate details for specifics on delivery format.
Relias has a grievance policy in place to facilitate reports of dissatisfaction. Relias will make every effort to resolve each grievance in a mutually satisfactory manner. In order to report a complaint or grievance please contact Relias.
If you require special accommodations to complete this module, please contact Relias Support by completing the web form (https://www.relias.com/help) or by using the chat functionality.
All courses offered by Relias, LLC are developed from a foundation of diversity, inclusiveness, and a multicultural perspective. Knowledge, values and awareness related to cultural competency are infused throughout the course content.
Reference herein to any specific commercial product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, service mark, manufacturer or otherwise does not constitute or imply any endorsement, recommendation, or favoring of, or affiliation with, Relias, LLC.
All characteristics and organizations referenced in the following training are fictional. Any resemblance to any actual organizations or persons living or dead, is purely coincidental.
To earn continuing education credit for this course you must achieve a passing score of 80% on the post-test and complete the course evaluation.
If you require special accommodations to complete this module, please contact Relias Customer Support here.