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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 98284 Find in a Library
Title: Women's Function in NSW (New South Wales) Male Prisons (From Women in the Prison System - Proceedings, P 193-197, 1984, Suzanne Hatty, ed. See NCJ-98278)
Author(s): R Nicholson
Date Published: 1984
Page Count: 5
Sponsoring Agency: Australian Institute of Criminology
Canberra ACT, 2601, Australia
Sale Source: Australian Institute of Criminology
GPO Box 2944
Canberra ACT, 2601,
Language: English
Country: Australia
Annotation: This paper presents an overview of historical events leading to the employment of female officers in maximum-security male jails in New South Wales, Australia; their function; integration; and tribulations during this period of 'pioneering.'
Abstract: An overview of the historical events leading to the employment of female officers in maximum-security male prisons indicates that female officers are a small minority and the subject of close scrutiny by their male peers, inmates, and the prison administration as a whole. The female officers employed in male prisons perform the same tasks as male officers (administration and supervision of of prisoners' accommodations, searches, tower security, supervising and training of staff, involvement in inmate's projects, and counseling). In addition, women are also employed in prison stores, gate, control rooms, and visiting centers. The employment of females in male institutions can be seen as having a two-fold function: affording women equal status in a previously male-exclusive operated field and normalization of the environment. It has been found that integration with the male staff has not been easy for the small minority of women. A study of male officers' attitudes reveals that the positive bias was 69.8 percent and the negative bias 27.9 percent. Other studies reveal differences of opinion depending on age groups, maturity level, and length of service in the correctional system. A study of inmates' reactions reveals that generally, inmates perceive female officers as more approachable and feel free to discuss their problems and request advice or counseling. With such good interpersonal relationships, women find it easy to get inmates to perform tasks without having to resort to autocratic commands. The female officers see their role as challenging and satisfying. Tabular data are presented.
Index Term(s): Australia; Equal opportunity employment; Female correctional guards; Female recruitment; Sex discrimination
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