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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 77230 Find in a Library
Title: Female Correctional Officers in the Ministry of Correctional Services
Author(s): A Bronskill
Corporate Author: Ontario Ministry of Correctional Services
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 15
Sponsoring Agency: Ontario Ministry of Correctional Services
Scarborough, Ontario M1L 4P1, Canada
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: Canada
Annotation: This report describes the role of the female correctional officer as structured by the Ministry of Correctional Services of Ontario, Canada; effective response to affirmative action goals is emphasized.
Abstract: In 1975, when the Affirmative Action Program was initiated in Ontario, there were 16 classified female correctional officers working with male inmates in various Provincial institutions. By April 1980, that number had increased to 312. The program now serves as a model for the use of women in correctional institutions in other Canadian Provinces and in the United States. The correctional officer's role is unique within the Ministry of Correctional Services, it requires daily personal interaction with inmates and the performance of custodial and rehabilitative functions. Many correctional officers are graduates of the Centennial College or the Sheridan College, both of which offer specialized correctional worker programs. Over the past 10 years, opposition to the use of female correctional officers in institutions for adult male offenders has decreased. However, as the issue of privacy continues to be controversial, specific regulations have been promulgated in this regard. The majority of male and female correctional officers are sensitive to the privacy needs of inmates. Coping with situations which may involve physical danger is considered part of the female correctional officer's job, and training is provided to ensure competency in such instances. Today, some male correctional officers remain skeptical about working with female officers even though they may feel that the majority have proven they can handle the job in a professional manner. With regard to inmate preferences, a recent study conducted in the United States revealed that inmates did not oppose cross-sex assignments for correctional officers. The presence of female correctional officers in male institutions changes the atmosphere considerably in that female officers may be helpful in accelerating the resocialization process for inmates by making the institution's environment more like that of a normal community. In addition, inmates frequently take more care with their personal appearance and use less obscene language around female guards. One reference, a bibliography of about 25 citations, and a list of dates when female officers were first hired in Provincial institutions are supplied.
Index Term(s): Affirmative action programs; Correctional Officers; Correctional reform; Corrections management; Equal opportunity employment; Ontario; Women's correctional institutions
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