skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 164800 Find in a Library
Title: Staff Victimization in Jails
Journal: Corrections Today  Volume:58  Issue:7  Dated:(December 1996)  Pages:12,14,16
Author(s): D Dowd
Date Published: 1996
Page Count: 3
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article describes possible scenarios for inmate victimization of jail staff and suggests ways to help prevent such victimization.
Abstract: In contrast to State prisons, county and city jails are usually located in the same areas as that population from which jail inmates are drawn, and they are frequently located in the densely populated high-crime areas of the county or city. Jail staff live in the same communities as relatives, friends, and associates of inmates and often remain in close proximity to these members of the community. This circumstance provides opportunities for inmates to encourage criminal associates and family members in the community to intimidate and threaten off- duty correctional staff and their families. In one case in Memphis, Tenn., a jail officer was killed by members of an inmate's gang. In the jail, staff victimization is generally progressive. It begins with apparently harmless requests for favors within the authority and responsibility of the staff members, such as access to extra or free telephone calls or to extra food or hygiene items. As the relationship evolves, requests for favors become increasingly difficult and dangerous, such as the supplying of prohibited items and access to staff areas and confidential information. The demands then can escalate to illegal acts, such as the delivery of drugs, money or weapons, or assistance in illegal activities. Demands often are accompanied by increasing pressure. The dynamics of staff victimization are such that the victimizing inmates or their associates must take action in response to inaction of victimized staff. Staff involved in the process have few, if any, options to seek outside help and must either comply or deal with the consequences of noncompliance. Managers can help reduce staff victimization by making staff aware of the techniques inmates use to manipulate staff. Job focus groups that include employees who have personal and professional insights into the situation can advance solutions not readily apparent to managers looking at an on-the-job problem. Managers should also solicit input from staff as to what can be done to help staff in harm's way.
Main Term(s): Corrections internal security
Index Term(s): Correctional officer training; Inmate staff relations; Psychological manipulation
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.