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NCJ Number: 76784 Find in a Library
Title: Status of Minorities in Prison Employment - Limited Progress and Uncertain Effects (From American Correctional Association - Proceedings, P 123-135, 1981, Barbara Hadley Olsson and Ann Dargis, ed. - See NCJ-76771)
Author(s): M R Montilla
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 13
Sponsoring Agency: American Correctional Assoc
Alexandria, VA 22314
Sale Source: American Correctional Assoc
206 N. Washington St., Suite 200
Alexandria, VA 22314
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Presented at the 110th Congress of Correction of the American Correctional Association, this paper summarizes the results of a District of Columbia study and a five-State study on the current status of minority group corrections employees, and minority prisoner organizations.
Abstract: As the proportion of prison populations composed of minority group members has increased, the number of minority group members employed on corrections staffs has lagged behind. In Washington, D.C. problems with recruiting blacks in the corrections department were solved by relocating the personnel office from the prison in rural Virginia to department headquarters in the city. Results of an American Justice Institute study of prison staff and prisoner organizations in Oregon, Minnesota, California, New York, and New Jersey indicated that prisoner organizations were usually composed of prisoners of a single race and that native Americans (NA'S) had become a significant prisoner group in Oregon and Minnesota. The study further revealed that where black prisoners constituted the strongest minority group they were unified or cohesive, while where blacks constituted an overwhelming majority they were very small unofficial white prisoner groups; and that organized illegal gangs were not found (although their presence was suspected). Only one prison had a minority group staffing pattern corresponding to the size of the minority group most represented at the institution (New York). The New Jersey prison had the second highest number of minority group staff members, followed by the California prison. Only Minnesota included former offenders on the staff. In all of the prisons, male officers in the units. In none of the States did male officers in female institutions or female officers in male institutions have an effect on organizational climate. No problems were found among former inmates working as officers in the Minnesota prison. While communications between black staff members and inmates were generally open, Hispanic American (HA) inmates tended to isolate themselves from all staff including HA staff members, and NA prisoners tended to be highly isolationist (little success had been achieved in recruiting NA staff members). Major problems confronted by minority group staff members were stereotyping and difficulty in using unions to complain about job-related issues. White male-dominated unions gave minority group members little opportunity to seek redress for grievances. In California -- the only State which had them -- minority employee groups were recognized by the system as professional associations. Tabular data are provided. Notes, a six-item list of American Justice Institute publications, and a chart showing recent prison organization and management studies are appended.
Index Term(s): American Indians; Black/African Americans; California; Correctional personnel; Corrections management; District of Columbia; Hispanic Americans; Inmate staff relations; Minnesota; Minority employment; New Jersey; New York; Oregon; Racial discrimination
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