Institutional Differences in Staff Well Being Among Federal Correctional Officers

Sean P. Rosenmerkel, Federal Bureau of Prisons

Amid the rising rate of inmate growth in the Federal prison system, there is an ever increasing strain on the individuals charged with the task of keeping them under lock and key. This strain can manifest itself in many ways, most notably heightened levels of depression and concern for personal safety. The goal of this research is examine this issue of correctional officer strain and depression levels. However, the present research will move further than a cursory examination of this by exploring this topic by dividing staff into institutional categories based on rates of imprisonment at the facilities that they represent and examine the corresponding levels of stress and symptoms of depression. This will enable us to examination any potential role that over- or under-capacity of facilities has on correctional officers. Further exploration will determine the extent to which any regional differences, in terms of institution location, might play as a contributory role in this equation. This research will be accomplished through the utilization of the Prison Social Climate Survey administered to correctional staff and inmates on an annual basis. This survey provides detailed information on all facets of the institutional climate (i.e. physical plant efficiency, security classifications, assault information) as well as a detailed set of demographic and personal information on correctional staff.

(Return to Program Resources)

Updated 05/20/2006