Concernsfor Correction Staff
Correctionof law offender involves officials who perform various functions inthe different facilities. Although their roles are varied, they areall geared towards comprehensive rehabilitation and correction.
Administrativeofficers are responsible for conducting clerical duties in acorrectional facility. They are essential in the enforcement ofregulations in a facility, escorting the inmates to destinations aswell as operating surveillance equipment (NYCD, 2016). According toBennett et al. (2013), they are periodically required to file reportsabout incidents that involved the inmates during a given day.Administrative Officers supervise inmates at various stages of thecriminal justice system. They are located in reformatories, jails,state prisons and federal prisons.
Theyare responsible for providing daily services to inmates.Specifically, they ensure that the inmates carry out their duties aswell as other correctional services. Bennett et al. (2013) providethat custodial staff supervises the activities of the prisoners inline with the routine of the facilities. They are responsible fordeveloping productive relationships between management,professionals, police as well as other agencies (NYCD, 2016). Theyalso identify prisoners who are at risk and provide advice to therelevant staff. They also interact and respond to prisoners throughthe provision of services in an appropriate manner, within properguidelines and rules. The officers also encourage prisoners toparticipate in programs to enhance their opportunities forrehabilitation. The facilities also require them to report thedetails or incidents and the behavior of inmates to improve thesentence management process (NYCD, 2016).
Theyare responsible for program coordination and record keeping of theoperations in the correctional facilities. The program officerssupervise inmate housing, provide disciplinary action guidelines andwork release activities at the correction facility (NYCD, 2016). Heor she ensures that policies and procedures are followed in relationto the services and the programs of the facilities. Program officersreview the inmates to ensure that they are correctly classified. Theyare in charge of evaluating inmate’s mental conditions to identifythose that require counseling or other rehabilitation programs(Bennet et al., 2013).
Legitimatepower is incomparable since it gives the correctional officer theliberty to carry out their roles. According to Crawley (2013), theseniors accord the correctional officers the authority to superviseand take care of the premises. The lack of legitimate power leads tothe development of undue influence in the execution of the officers’duties. It also curbs the use of excessive force that can haveadverse outcomes such as inmates’ non-cooperation.
Secondin rank is the expert power. It is the power attained when theinmates believe that a correctional officer has exceptional skills inexecuting a given task. According to Crawley, 2013, the correctionalofficers obtain respect from the prisoners and can carry out his/ herduties efficiently.
Thirdis coercive power. It emanates from the use of force. Although theforce is used as a last option for the inmates, it is a primarysource of power. There are different types of inmates and coercivepower best works on prisoners who fail to follow the routines offeredat the correctional facilities (Crawley, 2013). When inmates deviatefrom the program, the officer is authorized to use a force continuumas well as disciplinary codes. However, the excessive use of thepower has the potential to produce adverse outcomes that make theofficer’s job difficult.
Fourthis reward power. According to Crawley (2013), correctional officershave the ability to offer relative considerations for inmates thatindicate the potential to make other inmates behave or remain calm.Reward power is commonly used to maintain stability in thecorrectional centers.
Fundingis the most imperative concern for correctional staff. Bennet et al.(2013)agreethat funding affects every government sector and consequently, limitsthe extent of government operations. The lack of sufficient funds hasled to the closure of prisons. Besides, due to insufficient funds,governments are unable to procure enough equipment as well asmaintain correctional staff leading to lower staff to inmate ratio(Bennet et al., 2013).Anadditional concern with funding is due to the minimum amount oftraining given to correctional staff that makes their jobs dangerous.
Thesecond concern is the radicalization of inmates. According to Crawley(2013), correctional officers are concerned about encountering withterrorists, drug cartels and street gangs that have become moreviolent. The inmates’ ability to communicate nationally throughcontraband cell phones poses a danger to correctional staff and theirrelatives outside the correctional facility.
Thethird major concern is multi-generation composed of newer and oldercorrectional officers. Newer officers are obsessed with immediategratification despite their low level of commitment (Crawley, 2013).Consequently, correctional officers are concerned about the breakdownof the team concept.
Finally,correctional officers are concerned about the mental health issues ofinmates. A majority 70% of inmates have mental health issues thattransform to physical and behavioral problems (Crawley, 2013). Thelack of medical intervention for the inmates makes the work ofcorrectional staff more difficult.
Thecompassion fatigue occurs due to the stressful working environment ofthe correctional officers. The officers undergo a six-hour exposurewhere they deal with hardened criminals. Consequently, the workersare stressed since they are aware of what the inmates are capable ofdoing. Besides, they face additional stress from home, theirco-workers and the administration at the correctional facility. Whenthe stressors overwhelm an officer, he or she disassociates frompeople that surround them. The correctional officers come to workwith the body but not the mind. Consequently, a correctional officerwho was previously a go-getter eventually cares less about the reasonthey are at the correctional facility (Bennet et al., 2013). Thesituation is very dangerous for the officer, his or her family, andthe coworkers. The long-term effects of such a condition entail a setof negative outcomes such as death, illness, mental health and socialproblems as well as lower productivity.
Bennett, J., Crewe, B., & Wahidin, A. (Eds.). (2013).Understanding prison staff. United Kingdom UK: Willan.
Crawley,E. M. (2013). Doingprison work.New York, N.Y: Routledge.
NewYork Correction Department (NYCD). (2016). Unit Divisions. Retrieveon May 20th2016from http://www1.nyc.gov/site/doc/about/units-divisions.page