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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 228453 Find in a Library
Title: I Am Fried: Stressors and Burnout Among Correctional Staff
Journal: Corrections Compendium  Volume:34  Issue:2  Dated:Summer 2009  Pages:16-23
Author(s): Eric G. Lambert; Nancy L. Hogan; Shanhe Jiang; Morris Jenkins
Date Published: 2009
Page Count: 8
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study tested the hypothesis that perceived dangerousness of the job would be positively linked to burnout among correctional employees.
Abstract: The study found that neither perceived dangerousness of the job nor role conflict was linked with burnout among the correctional employees in this study. Other hypotheses regarding burnout factors for correctional staff were supported, however. Role ambiguity and role overload both had statistically significant positive associations with job burnout. As each of these factors increased, so did the level of burnout. These findings suggest that correctional employees may want clearly defined roles, directions, expectations, and guidance for their job tasks. Further, they do not want to be given more or lengthier tasks than they are reasonably capable of properly fulfilling. Over time, these factors apparently lead to apprehension, frustration, and resentment at not having their unreasonable and distressing job conditions addressed at the management level. If these findings are replicated in future studies, then correctional administrators must take steps to address these factors in order to reduce job burnout among staff. Management responses might include the provision of ongoing workshops and training sessions for employees that address the issue of burnout and how to prevent and overcome it. Support systems might be established for employees to consult when they are experiencing burnout. In addressing the specific issues of role ambiguity and role overload, the specifics of job responsibilities and performance should be clarified, with attention to time frames for various tasks. The reasonableness of the number and time frames for job tasks must also be addressed to ensure that job demands do not exceed what can reasonably be expected in the course of a shift. Two hundred staff members at a private maximum-security prison for juveniles sentenced as adults were surveyed for this study. 3 tables and 23 references
Main Term(s): Corrections management
Index Term(s): Correctional officer stress; Correctional staff management; Correctional stress training; Corrections occupational stress; Stress management
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