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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 200498 Find in a Library
Title: Correctional Officers' Attitudes Toward Delinquents and Delinquency: Does the Type of Institution Make a Difference? (From Readings for Research Methods in Criminology and Criminal Justice, P 85-98, 1999, M.L. Dantzker, ed., -- See NCJ-200493)
Author(s): Jill Gordon
Date Published: 1999
Page Count: 14
Sponsoring Agency: Butterworth-Heinemann
Woburn, MA 01801-2041
Sale Source: Butterworth-Heinemann
225 Wildwood Ave
Woburn, MA 01801-2041
United States of America
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Book (Softbound)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article discusses correctional officers’ attitudes toward delinquents and delinquency.
Abstract: Institutionalization can be a different experience for an individual, based on institutional placement, policies, and philosophy. The type of facility an offender is admitted to can produce both positive and negative results. The type, level, and quality of interaction between inmate and correctional officer may be a function of the officer’s attitudes toward causes and solutions to delinquent behavior. This study examined the attitudinal differences among correctional officers employed at two types of juvenile detention facilities that differ in appearance and philosophy: the open-security facility and the closed-security facility. A cross-sectional design was used and three hypotheses were examined. The hypotheses were that correctional officers from the open-security facility were less likely than the officers from the closed-security facility to agree that punishing offenders reduces crime; that crime was a result of environmental/opportunity factors; and correctional officers from the open-security facility were more likely to agree that the treatment of offenders could produce change than the correctional officers at the closed-security facility. The results show that there were attitudinal differences among correctional officers that were employed at juvenile detention facilities that varied philosophically, structurally, and with regard to the daily regiment of the convicted youth. The officers at the open-security facility possessed attitudes that did not support punitive ideals. They appeared to embrace the belief that the attitudes and behavior of youth could change from antisocial to prosocial, because the staff understand that engaging in crime is a matter of personal responsibility. This analysis revealed a significant relationship between an officer’s level of education and agreement/disagreement with the ability of punishment to reduce crime. The confirmation that the correctional officers are supportive of the goals and philosophy of the program offered at the open-security facility may reflect the institution’s actual ability to influence the attitudes of the youth and reduce the youth’s future criminal behavior. 5 tables, 66 references, appendix, 6 endnotes
Main Term(s): Correctional personnel attitudes; Juvenile delinquency
Index Term(s): Attitudes; Inmate staff relations; Morale; Prison climate; Stress assessment; Work attitudes
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