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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 76801 Find in a Library
Title: Female Employees in Male Institutions (From American Correctional Association - Proceedings, P 269-274, 1981, Barbara Hadley Olsson and Ann Dargis, ed. - See NCJ-76771)
Author(s): N J Harm
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 6
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: This article discusses the success and problems which women have encountered while working as corrections officers in Illinois prisons for men.
Abstract: Contrary to prior expectations, women have experienced few problems with inmates which were different in number or nature from those experienced by male officers. Women have proved capable of handling security assignments and have caused no widespread loss of control among inmates. Female officers have shown themselves able to handle physical confrontations and have been more adept at resolving confrontations before they escalate to the physical stage. Inmates have stated that they feel more able to express themselves with female officers, and generally prisoners feel less obligated to support macho images among female officers. Although female officers have, at times been manipulated by some inmates, this manipulation has been no different than that experienced by male officers. However, male officers have provided inmates with contraband and have become involved with inmates after their release significantly more frequently than female officers. In general, female officers have conducted themselves appropriately on the job and have brought a sense of normalization to the institutions in which they work. The women officers have experienced the greatest problems with their male colleagues, rather than with male inmates. These problems have ranged from overprotection to sexual harassment. Women cited friction with male staff as the greatest source of job stress. Thus, training for women officers should include job skills, an ability to work with male staff, an understanding of the system necessary for career advancement, and contacts with other female staff members. Furthermore, male staff, particularly supervisors, should be trained to become more sensitized in working with women.
Index Term(s): Correctional facilities; Correctional personnel; Equal opportunity employment; Females; Illinois; Male offenders
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