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OKC sexual assault response: Strengthening realistic problem solving (Part 3)

Formatting problems makes measuring success easier.
dwinslow photoshopped Prochaska and DiClemente CHANGE CYCLE

This is a series of articles on the issue of failed Oklahoma City sex assault response, but also about the process of whose job it is to tend this to improvement. This series will take a look at what is or could be in place to look at risk management or hazard mitigation for Oklahoma City citizens on the part of city government, which is the immediate government guiding services including but not limited to law enforcement which reportedly governs the sex assault response in Oklahoma City.

This writer is a retired professional social worker in mental health, having worked in crisis management, as a therapist, as a program manager and clinical supervisor, for about 25 years as a recidivism prevention specialist. WHAT? Recidivism prevention Most of this writer's life's work is spent a little like the human version of prompting updating your apps, in response to known, under attended or unidentified problems, to avoid being caught in the same patterns or problems. Work focused on trying to help clients and their families understand what they are facing in terms of problems and struggles defined by themselves, community and normed to their age and situation. Then trying to maximize resources to first get stabilizing results if possible, then work on growing in life in measurable wellness.

Wellness is pretty important to understand. Midmonth this month, the federal government will be teaching this process of personal balance, accountability to improve the quality of life., nationwide as the best way to understand struggles simply and improve life. Helping people have a better life.

Prior articles in this series have noted the national headline news of an OKC Police Department patrolman, Daniel Holtzclaw being accused of crimes including rape against 8 African American females from the Springlake Patrol District in NE OKC, known prior problems with the OKC sexual assault response and what it is like to present a general problem at the Oklahoma City Council or sit through a recent City Council meeting.

Effective and functional systems work to 1.) clearly and thoroughly document a problem, 2.) clearly identify accurately the tenets of the problem, 3.) parcel the problem so it can be organized for resolution, 4.) distribution of those parceled tasks and 5.) constant "updating of apps" in the actions taken to measure the success or failure of the efforts applied until the problem is clarified, stabilized or resolved, which ever is the goal. This kind of thinking prevents recidivism, and promotes wellness, for just about anyone's issues.

In the last article, see the first man from the water problem, who identified clearly in his opening complaint to the City Council that the City rule applied to his problem was a pristine example of magical thinking by the government and Council in citing he should have been able to give prior warning to the City water services about a broken main. (This, after suffering property damaging runoff second to a broken water main, two property lengths away... what 4 feet underground?) The answer was given by Mayor Mick Cornett said in phrase and posture, much like a game show host to the man .... Cornett thanked him for playing.. sorry you lose and proceeded to call for the next presenter.

The man, a seemingly retired individual, looked at the faces of all council on the horseshoe, looked at his papers, turned away and went back to sit down. He got no instruction and no indication that anyone else thought the problem was as he saw it. 1.) certainly an ongoing illogical interaction which could easily qualify as sort of stupid and 2.) applying a stupid law removed liability to the city ( sucked away a caring response) ensured that if he wanted any better response, he would have to hire a lawyer, and proceed to sue the city. The man sat with a vacant look on his face for the remainder of the session. How many hours are spent by the public cleaning up after predictable or unpredictable simple damage or disaster involving the citizen's need for City services to solve the problem or the issue caused by city services, sites, equipment or staff. How many places does the city thwarts and thwarts report, and any addressing of problems. How much time should any citizen endure attempts at reporting and failed reports of any aspect of any problem.

Professional social work has a process called first door/right door, which overtly prevents random errands and failure to respond, by making the first hearer responsible to document and discern the issue and work to solve it.

Magical thinking. That is concerning. That is disappointing.That is diluting. That is ineffective. That is hamsterwheel thinking. That is the recipe for systems induced traumas. But moreover that seems kind of dangerous that magical thinking would ever be applied to rules of life or protections in Oklahoma City. Magical thinking developmentally is a construct of thoughts of persons age 7 and under, It includes unreasonable, unrealistic and illogical constructs in understanding an inbound problem, but also in any applied response, whether out of the mouth of staff sitting at the horseshoe, or in laws cited from either the utility attorney, city attorney or Mayor Mick Cornett.

In the attached graphic is a diagram a view of the process of change. This diagram maps simple problems and functions somewhere between that map at the mall that says you are here and a little like that game Candyland where your position could crash at any point and revert to starting over due to some failed understanding, inconsistent actions or .... and shows stages of comprehension of an issue from unawareness through awareness. In that, it is possible to map discussions about the progress or failure of an issue focusing comprehension and placing in a process.

So, what happens if you map the man's problem on this cycle of change? The man presenting the water problem understood what happened to him. It was never clear if he got past stage 6 in the cycle and he came, hat in hand to a council who appeared unaware, and possibly unconcerned in the end. It appears the man was eager to get on to 7. It sure looked like the Mayor was trying to tell the man his assessment of the problem was indeed wrong, and rolled him out in the dialogue at stage 5, and back to stage 1.

How many hours should a citizen have to spend reporting a problem?

Whose job is it for the Oklahoma City Council to be prepared to address this problem?

Why did only the two attorney's , the utilities attorney and the city attorney address this question?

Why can't the city council representative for the man speak to the person BEFORE this meeting to understand the problem and plan a strategy for the man to present to the council, or get help prior? This seemed absent.

Why didn't anyone on the city council offer to carry the issue to some connecting function meeting, where the two groups of city and state law, process the problem to come to a better solution? This seemed absent.

Whose job is it to tell the community, buyer beware?

Who will speak to this issue of magical thinking, hamster wheel, systems induced trauma that is being applied in the original law, as the original law or as the council sits? Kate Barnard, the first child advocate in the state noted that early Oklahoman's had a history of sitting, chatting and wringing hands instead of applying thoughtful consideration and meaningful actions to do next right things to solve problems. "Stop the seances" was her mantra, saying that these ultimately mute gatherings, in clean dry places cushy places with refreshments and protocol never did any good to the people of Oklahoma in need.

Who will make the call to action for sexual assault response improvement?

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