Prison Chaplains' Affective Responses to Work

Jody L. Sundt, Southern Illinois Univ. at Carbondale
Francis T. Cullen, University of Cincinnati

It is often assumed that prisons are stressful and unrewarding places in which to work. This research explores how those responsible for the spiritual welfare of inmates-prison chaplains-respond to working in a potentially brutal, dehumanizing, and unjust environment. This research reveals that chaplains experience moderate to low levels of work stress and consider their work highly rewarding. These findings challenge the notion that prison work is inherently "dirty work." This study also examines the sources of these work experiences. The analysis revealed that the determinates of prison chaplains' work stress and job satisfaction are similar to those of correctional officers and prison wardens.

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Updated 05/20/2006