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NCJRS Abstract

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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:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=164800

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