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NCJ Number: 78089 Find in a Library
Title: Some Correlates of Prison Guards' Beliefs
Journal: Criminal Justice and Behavior  Volume:8  Issue:2  Dated:(June 1981)  Pages:233-249
Author(s): B Shamir; A Drory
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 17
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Examination of prison guards' attitudes concerning the rehabilitative potential of prisons, the rehabilitation potential of the prisoners, and the importance of the guards' supportive role was undertaken in an attempt to understand forces affecting the formation of these attitudes.
Abstract: Questionnaires were given 370 custodial personnel in 4 maximum-security Israeli prisons, with questions about their beliefs about the prison, the prisoners, and the guard's role, job satisfaction, role conflict, criminals in the guards' residence communities, contact with prisoners, and guards' personal distress. More positive attitudes toward the prison, the prisoners, and their own roles in the prison were expressed by the guards than were expected. The guards have not lost all hope in prisoners' rehabilitation potential, do not look at prisoners as morally inferior, do not despair in the rehabilitative potential of prisons, and believe that they should have support roles. Yet all these factors are independent; e.g., guards could be skeptical about the rehabilitative potential of both the prison and the prisoner and still believe that their own role in the prison should be supportive rather than punitive. Findings also show that a high belief in the supportive role of the guard creates in him a high level of role conflict, and that the higher a guard's rank, the more he believes the guard's role should be supportive and the less he believes in rehabilitative potentials. Overall, guards' beliefs about the prisoners, prison, and their own roles may be more strongly related to occupationally based variables such as time on the job, tenure, and role conflict than to background variables. Tables and 23 references are included.
Index Term(s): Attitudes; Correctional Officers; Corrections effectiveness; Custody vs treatment conflict; Israel; Role conflict; Role perception
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