Administrative Challenges

Administrative Challenges

Majority of corrections officers are employed by the government of the country they work in, although some are employed by the private sector. The roles of corrections officer can vary from one facility to another, but they usually include maintaining discipline, order, and peace within the facility, implementing the rules and regulations of the facility as well as relevant laws, transporting inmates to other correctional institutions, to courts, or into the community (for example, escorted day-pass, medical appointments, etc.), providing tactical response for hostage-takings, riots, and other ongoing crises and emergencies, providing first-response in events such as medical emergencies, fire, riots, assaults, etc., and search environs and inmates for illegal imports. On the whole, their job is to ensure the control, custody, rehabilitation, and care of persons who have been found guilty of a crime and sentenced to serve time in jail or in a prison or who have been arrested and are awaiting trial while on remand, as well as to ensure the security and safety of the facility where they operate in itself. Being a corrections officer is an honor, since one gets to serve the country and help in maintaining peace and order. Helping an inmate through the process of rehabilitation is also probably a good feeling, knowing that one has played a role in turning somebody into a better person. However, being a corrections officer is also challenging. It is undeniably one of the most stressful jobs there is. A researcher once observed that any social structure or organization which includes a group of individuals who do not want to be there and a group of individuals who see to it that they stay there is a social structure or organization under stress (Brodsky, 1982). This description fits exactly the setting of a jail or prison with inmates who do not want to be there, and corrections officers making sure that they do not escape. Numerous studies and interviews have been conducted to know more about the stress experienced by corrections officers and the findings show that there are numerous causes of stress, either work-related or organization-related. One of the work-related causes of stress is the threat of violence among or from inmates. Another one is the actual inmate violence, which includes inmates assaulting or killing staff or other inmates, hostage-taking, inmate suicides, and riots. Actual inmate violence not only causes stress for corrections officers as it happens, but also afterwards, as the anxiety of officers is increased after critical happenings by the after effects of job insecurity, blaming, scapegoat-ing, and recriminations (Freeman, 1997). Manipulation attempts and persistent demands by some inmates are also a major source of stress for corrections officers. for example, an inmate makes additional food or cigarette requests with a promise to control other inmates or not to cause any trouble. Problems with co-workers also prove to be stressful. as a matter of fact, according to a survey, 22% or corrections officers regarded other officers or staff as more stressful than any other factor apart from having to deal with inmates that are difficult and aggressive (Marston, 1993). Some of the conditions that can bring about stress among co-workers include officers battling for restricted, choice assignments, improper behavior toward inmates (e.g. taking questionable disciplinary actions, becoming too

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