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NCJ Number: 66917 Find in a Library
Title: GUARD IN A CHANGING PRISON WORLD (FROM KEEPERS - PRISON GUARDS AND CONTEMPORARY CORRECTIONS, 1980, BY BEN M CROUCH - SEE NCJ-66916)
Author(s): B M CROUCH
Corporate Author: Charles C. Thomas
United States of America
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 41
Sponsoring Agency: Charles C. Thomas
Springfield, IL 62704
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: EXTERNAL CHANGES IMPACTING THE DYNAMICS OF PRISON LIFE ARE IDENTIFIED AND DISCUSSED, AND THE EFFECTS ON PRISON GUARD ROLES ARE CONSIDERED.
Abstract: THE RISE OF REHABILITATION AS AN OBJECTIVE OF IMPRISONMENT IS ONE CHANGE THAT HAS SIGNIFICANTLY AFFECTED THE PRISON GUARD ROLE. PRIOR TO WORLD WAR II, PRISON GUARDS ACTED PRIMARILY AS SECURITY PERSONNEL, CHARGED WITH ENFORCING PRISON REGULATIONS AND PREVENTING DISORDER AND INMATE ESCAPES. WITH THE ADVENT OF THE REHABILITATION THRUST, THE PRISON GUARD WAS EXPECTED TO FULFILL NOT ONLY SECURITY FUNCTIONS BUT ALSO INTERACT WITH INMATES IN A FASHION THAT WOULD CONTRIBUTE TO REHABILITATION GOALS. ROLE CONFLICT IS INEVITABLE IN SUCH CIRCUMSTANCES. INCREASED COURT INTERVENTION IN PRISON PRACTICES IS A SECOND FACTOR PRODUCING PRISON CHANGES. PRIOR TO THE 1960S, THE COURTS HAD A 'HANDS-OFF' POLICY REGARDING PRISON OPERATIONS, WHICH LEFT THE HANDLING OF INMATES TO THE DISCRETION OF CORRECTIONS ADMINISTRATORS WHO SET POLICY FOR THE GUARDS. WITH COURTS' ATTENTION TO INMATE RIGHTS AND IMPROVED PRISON CONDITIONS, CORRECTIONS ADMINISTRATORS AND GUARDS ARE REQUIRED TO RESPOND TO COURT RULINGS DICTATING THE TREATMENT AND HOUSING OF INMATES. THIS HAS MOVED THE GUARD-INMATE INTERACTION FROM A PATRONIZING TO A COMPETITIVE DYNAMIC, AS INMATES, UNDER THE IMPETUS OF COURT DECISIONS, DEMAND TO BE TREATED AS CITIZENS UNDER THE LAW. A THIRD FACTOR PRODUCING PRISON CHANGE INVOLVES INMATE POPULATION SIZE AND CHARACTER. PRISONS ARE OVERCROWDED, AND THE INMATES FILLING THEM ARE MORE AGGRESSIVE AND RESTIVE. BLACK INMATES HAVE A GROWING SENSE OF SOLIDARITY AND ARE HIGHLY REACTIVE TO DEMEANING TREATMENT. THE CHANGES IMPACTING PRISONS HAVE MADE THE PRISON GUARD'S ROLE MORE AMBIGUOUS AND COMPLEX. THE KNOWLEDGE AND SOCIAL SKILLS NOW REQUIRED FOR GUARDS TO FUNCTION EFFECTIVELY DICTATES AN INCREASE IN JOB AND CAREER STATUS ATTENDED BY PAY INCREASES. FURTHER, JOB DESCRIPTIONS ACCORDING TO GUARD RANKS NEED TO BE MORE SPECIALIZED WITHIN A CAREER LADDER FRAMEWORK, THUS INCREASING THE PERFORMANCE QUALITY, AND PROVIDING AVENUES FOR PROMOTION. REFERENCES ARE PROVIDED. (RCB)
Index Term(s): Correctional Officers; Custody vs treatment conflict; Job pressure; Prisoner's rights; Professionalization; Role conflict
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=66917

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