SAGE Journal Articles

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Article 8.1

Souryal, S. S. (2009). Deterring corruption by prison personnel: A principle-based perspective. The Prison Journal89(1), 21-45.

This article discusses corruption in U.S. prison institutions and proposes effective methods to deter its continuance. Unlike other research that has advocated increasing pain and brutality, this article presents a principle-based approach, not weak, spineless, or soft but indeed earnest, steadfast, and well disciplined. It balances the continuum between reinforcing rational and reasonable rules to control the behavior of inmates and mature and professional performance by enlightened correctional officers. This article is based on a solid assumption: The more civil the correctional institution is, the more civil, and the less violent, its residents will be. It questions the traditional belief that most prison inmates are sub-humans who can be controlled only by violence, understand only the crunch of force, and detest the universal norms of fairness, dignity, and humanity. This article concludes by presenting a few practical propositions to better assist prison administrators in performing their duties more effectively and civilly.

Article 8.2

Allen Gorman, C., & Meriac, J. P. (2016). Examining the work ethic of correctional officers using a short form of the multidimensional work ethic profile. The Prison Journal, 96(2), 258–278.

The work ethic construct has seen increased research attention in recent years and has been applied to a host of different settings. In this study, the work ethic of correctional officers (COs) was examined. Compared with other occupational samples, COs generally endorsed higher levels of work ethic across several of the dimensions. Also, we found that the measurement properties of the Multidimensional Work Ethic Scale–Short Form (MWEP-SF) were comparable to those presented in previous studies. Implications for future research and the relevance of work ethic in a corrections context are discussed. In addition, study limitations and future directions are addressed.

Article 8.3

Stohr, M. K., Hemmens, C., Marsh, R. L., Barrier, G., & Palhegyi, D. (2000). Can’t scale this? The ethical parameters of correctional work. The Prison Journal80(1), 56-79.

As most correctional institutions have retained their paramilitary structure, the power differentials and communication lines continue to favor concentration in the top echelons of the organizations. Yet, power and communication are regulated and delimited informally by the actions of middle-level managers and lower level workers, and by subcultural influences within the organization. Because of these attributes, correctional work is characterized by discretionary decision making, particularly when the matter is minor, hidden from view, and sanctioned by the subculture. Acting in an ethical manner (i.e., doing the right thing) in such a closed, structured, but informally functional environment requires a recognition and appreciation of the complexity of the milieu along with a willingness to forge ahead. This article explores the ethical parameters of corrections work in a typical medium-security prison. In an effort to determine what the correctional staff regarded as ethical behavior, the authors administered a questionnaire to them using a newly developed ethics instrument. The authors endeavor to identify the major attributes of ethical work in prison and to establish the heuristic value of the instrument for future research.