At any given time, a single corrections officer, can expect to be outnumbered by upwards of 400 inmates (Conover, 2011). It can be chilling to work in the midst of hundreds of inmates, some of which initiate attacks and inappropriate relationships. However, other issues have impacted the psychological health and physical safety of the staff. Detrimental factors have included heavy workloads, the prisons physical structure, and a lack of support from both peers and superiors. Each workplace issue has been in addition to role problems, specifically role ambiguity and role conflict (Schaufeli & Peeters, 2011). It is believed that anyone of these undesirable facets of prison should be enough to deter the public from attempting to enter such positions, yet the essay attempts to connect the dysfunctional aspects, expanding on why these prison positions are associated with burnout and frustration. In an attempt to do the profession justice, elements that appear to have encouraged individuals to not only join, but also stay, will be explored.
In an attempt to address physical prison conditions, Bierie’s (2012) research explored how the conditions influenced the wellbeing of prison staff. There was a specific focus on the impact at the individual level, as well as the ability to function within the occupation (Bierie, 2012). Staff survey data was attained through the Prison Social Climate Survey, which included 114 prisons, and a total of 1,738 operational responses were used in the study (Bierie, 2012). The goal of the survey was to gauge the respondents’ opinion of the prisons physical condition over the previous six months (Bierie, 2012). Based on health issues and apprehension to exert effort at work, it was concluded that the prison environment does adversely impact the staff (Bierie, 2012).
Sorensen, Cunningham, Vigen, and Woods (2011) attempted to develop the understanding of serious prison violence against staff members. More specifically, the focus was on the patters, as well as characteristics staff and inmates involved (Sorensen et al., 2011). The research consisted of 79 coded incident reports, involving Texas corrections staff, who had been seriously assaulted, over a 14 month period (Sorensen et al., 2011). It was determined that serious assaults were reasonably infrequent, yet the characteristics and indicators of what led to attacks were delivered (Sorensen et al., 2011). Both of these articles aid in the process of indulging into the hardships that corrections officers have dealt with. The physical conditions and assaults are two of the undesirable aspects that are undeniably attached to such a career, as the next section will exemplify.
New Staff and Easy Targets
Prison guard positions have not been well-regarded by the masses. The low pay, even lower social status, possibility of attacks, and harsh prison environments support such a notion. Furthermore, workload issues, such as limited recovery time, multiple...