Training Problems with Prisons and Jails Chapter II: Review of Literatures Essay

Training Problems with Prisons and Jails

Chapter II: Review of Literatures

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I.              Introduction

a.    Problem Statement

The job competencies of correctional officers have been questioned in relation to effectiveness of their education course program - Training Problems with Prisons and Jails Chapter II: Review of Literatures Essay introduction. Standard correctional officer course comprises phase-by-phase subjects from administration and personnel handling to medical and mental health management. Despite the comprehensiveness of correctional course programs, critiques and correctional administration question the curriculum effectiveness applied for training correctional officers.

b.    Overview: Correctional Officers and Training Problems

Since the late 1970s, formal correctional officer training or guard course program has always been a sporadic and unsuccessful exercise due to the lack of proper policy legislations and insufficient budget provided by prison department’s Technical Support Division (Colvin, 1992 p.146). However, as the 21st century approaches, the involvement of the federal and state courts in the demand for increasing the effectiveness, accountability, and efficiency of correctional workforce has served to increase as well the bureaucratization within correctional institutions (Levinson, 2002 p.327). Correctional officers are most of the time in contact with the penal environment and various offenders performing their custodial and inmates-control functions (Pollock, 2005 p.198).  According to Levinson (2002), the American Correctional Association (ACA) has reported the average age of correctional officer recruits undergoing correctional training as of 1999. The average educational attainment among these recruits was high school diploma (p.327). Despite the critical functions of correctional officers, training and education programs of this correctional workforce have been considered lacking or insufficient. Since 1967, the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration (LEAA) has concluded the existence of such social problem within penal system of United States. In fact, according to Pollock (2005), only in the late 1970s when ACA first launched a set of training standards for correctional officer trainings specifying the appropriate number of hours required during pre-service and in-service trainings (p.198). Lack of training among correctional officers predisposes various social problems that may occur within the correctional systems, such as incompetence of practice, abuse of practice, faulty inmate-officer relationships, etc. According to Colvin (1992), the lack of supervision and standardized course programs are the primary reasons for poor training results among correctional officers (p.146). Theoretically, incompetent correctional workforce function implies the possibility of ineffective correctional system for both inmates and existing workforce facilitating the penal system (Pollock, 2005 p.198). Aside from the lack of formality and policies regulating the trainings and education of these prison guards, poor supervision, favoritism, and harassments brought by both inmates and middle-level administrators have affected the quality and integrity of correctional officers’ services (Colvin, 1992 p.146). Assessment and evaluation of correctional officer trainings are necessary procedure to understand the status of correctional competence.

c.    Scope and Limitations

The purpose of the following review of literature is to evaluate the training program of correctional officers currently being implemented in various states of America hypothesizing the inverse relationship between the current correctional competencies and the existing training programs. Utilizing different scholarly literatures, the following review aims to determine the different insights of previous publications regarding the incompetence of correctional officers related to the inadequate or even lack of formal training programs. The following subsections include (a) the current correctional training implemented by federal penal justice system, (b) education and career conditions of correctional officers, (c) issues in pre- and in-service trainings and (d) future implications of the current trend of correctional officers’ training programs.

II.            Literature Review

a.    Correctional Officers: The Trend of Correctional Trainings

During the late 20th century, correctional officers were already considered privileged to obtain at least forty hours of formal guard training, which was commonly provided by independent military departments (e.g. Office of the Attorney General, etc) (Colvin, 1992 p.146). Furthermore, correctional officers in the past were only given set of keys and tasked to guard a cellblock (cited at Pollock, p.198). Formal training for correctional officers was not entirely considered until the 1970s (Pollock, 2005 p.198). As the late 20th century approached, few correctional agencies implemented formal training among in-service officers and pre-service trainees (Abramsku and Fellner, 2003 p.78).

Despite the programs currently being implemented in some prison institutions and correctional facilities, various authors and studies (Abramsku and Fellner, 2003; Morgan, 2000; Levinson, 2002) still consider the insufficiency of educational competencies of most correctional officers due to the ineffective training programs being provided by federal agencies. According to Morgan (2000), the National Institute of Corrections (NIC) implements an average of 220 hours of course training program among correctional officer trainees (p.132). Abramsku and Fellner (2003) add that the subjects included in formal training for correctional officers vary depending on state requirements. Currently, NIC identifies only few states providing formal training among correctional officers, such as District of Columbia, Louisiana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, and Oregon (Abramsku and Fellner, 2003 p.78). ACA require at least annual in-service training consisting at least 10 to 80 hours with 40 hours as the average annual in-service program depending on the agency policies (Levinson, 2002 p.327). The U.S Bureau of Prisons encourages correctional officer training programs covering the vital responsibilities and tasks of officers, such as custodial care, disciplinary procedures, etc. However, the Joint Commission on Correctional Manpower and Training (JCCMT) considers the current trainings as an ineffective tool to control and prevent officers’ incompetencies due to the ineffective implementations of these educative programs (Samaha, 2005 p.462). In fact, according to O’Toole and Eyland (2005), continued education of correctional officers in most states are not given much attention probably due to the low educational standards mandated by most correctional agencies (p.210).

O’Toole and Eyland (2005) hypothesize two rationales for imposing continuous education among correctional officers: (1) there is an increasing need for higher educational levels among correctional officers, and (2) the increased levels of officer education may improve the broad correctional operations, duties, and services (p.210). However, based on the scholarly reviews of Boros, Munnich and Szegedi (1998), selections and trainings of correctional recruits are not entirely based on intellectual and cognitive competence, not to mention the low educational standards mandated by the application requirements; instead, trainings are most of the time based on social competence (p.319). Currently, the trend of prison population is expanding exponentially with approximately one correctional officer for every four prisoners according to Federal Bureau of Prisons, which should approximately require at least 32,606 personnel to proportionately cater to the needs of inmates (Bosworth, 2002 p.120). Unfortunately, as of 1999, Federal Bureau of Prisons had documented only 10,300 personnel filling the need of federal prison systems (Bosworth, 2002 p.120). In-service correctional officers confront problems in managing the dynamic nature occurring within the prison environment due to their existing misconceptions (e.g. criminal behaviors versus deviance) and inadequate management skills to control untoward situations that may arise (Boros, Munnich and Szegedi, 1998 p.319). Based on the research of Farkas (2001), the most efficient way of resolving the personnel deficit within prison systems is to maximize the functions of workforces through trainings and educations, while at the same time implementing strict supervision and evaluation.

b.    Correctional Officer: Career and Education

Requirements in becoming correctional officer in United States vary depending on the state policies. According to Bosworth (2002), prison systems still utilize wide range of professionals (e.g. medical aids, psychologists, prison chaplains, etc.) to render fundamental functions (e.g. psychological evaluation, life support skills, etc.) that can be taught among correctional officers through formal training programs (p.120). Unfortunately, according to the study of Schaufeli and Peeters (2000), training programs are most of the time delivered ineffectively due to variety of reasons, such as (1) rising demand for trainings followed by insufficient budget allowance to fill in the existing demand, and (2) decreasing job retention due to high burnout rates and dissatisfaction rates. Farkas (2001) addresses the significance of training programs in resolving the increasing personnel deficits within the prisons. Theoretically, effectively trained correctional officers may aid in reducing the need to diversify prison workforce yielding to budget relocation and efficiencies in managing inmates’ needs.

Pollock (2005) identifies three main purposes of correctional training among recruits and officers in service: (1) “officers who have received proper training are often better prepares to act decisively when encountering a broad range of situations”, (2) “training in any organization leads to increased effectiveness and productivity”, and (3) “a good training program will foster unity and cooperation” (p.198). Despite the ideal aims of correctional training for both pre-service and in-service officers, some of the problems confronting the training include (a) the insufficient trainers capable of providing appropriate training, (b) low educational attainment standards in conflict with the high expectations of mid-level correctional administrators, and (c) available training programs cannot anymore cater to the coming personnel requirements and inmate demands (Wells, Minor and Wallace et al., 2007).

The actual training programs for correctional recruits comprise comprehensive and vital subjects. Education program for correctional officers consist of at least 200 hours of instructional training during their first annual employment period. After the officers’ practice-based training, another specialized course program consisting of 120 hours are provided by the Federal Bureau of Prisons’ residential training center (Morgan, 2000 p.133). Meanwhile, course programs greatly vary depending on the state policies, such as the pre-service training in Michigan comprising of at least 640 hours and 80 hours in North Dakota (Levinson, 2002 p.327). According to Morgan (2000), correctional officer training comprises of institutional policies and regulations, custody and security protocols, and awareness on existing diversities within prison (p.133). Furthermore, Levison (2002) adds the state-dependent subjects included in the training of correctional officers, namely inmate behavior psychology, correctional policies, gun training, shakedown procedures, and restraint procedures (p.327). According to Pollock (2005), the core component of correctional training is not entirely the academe or theoretical frameworks, but most importantly the immersion of trainees within the prison environment (p.199). On-the-job training of correctional officers consisting of at least 80 hours of training usually begins after their specialized course (Morgan, 2000 p.133).

Farkas (2001) mentions the comprehensive and vital nature of training courses formulated by ACA, Federal Bureau of Prisons and other state agencies consisting of essential subjects for maximization of correctional officers’ scope of practice. However, according to the study of ACA Work Force Advisory Council, J. G. Fogg (2008), correctional officers in most metropolitan correctional facilities are nearing their retirement period. For example, the New York City Depart of Corrections are now confronting 44% lay-off of officer retirees for the next four years, while long-term evaluation on North Carolina correctional retirements as of 2012 reveals approximately 50% of overall officers. If such trend continues, annual production of correctional officers must increase to approximately 75% or recruitment increase of 19,000 annually in order to cope up with the projected prison population rise.

Unfortunately, nationwide correctional training staffs available only range to approximately 600 to 1,300, while the nationwide correctional officers and coming recruits amount to more that 40,000 (U.S. Federal Bureau of Prisons, 2007). Based on the study of Finn (1998), understaffing, overtime, extensive shifting hours and supervisory demands are the problems causing employment dissatisfaction among correctional officers. Meanwhile, Dowden and Tellier (2004) link poor job dissatisfaction and retention of correctional officers in the inadequate or ineffective trainings of correctional officers. According to Dowden and Tellier (2004), untrained officers possess limited scope, understanding, and management skills to handle the growing demands of both inmates and co-workers within the prison environment.

c.    Untrained vs. Trained Correctional Officer

Lack and/or ineffective of correctional training has been acknowledged as an essential issue, especially with the imbalances between correctional workforce and prison demographical growth. According to O’Toole and Eyland (2005), lack of training among correctional officers can result to handicapped ability of corrections community in addressing efficient, effective, and legal strategies of resolving penal system conflicts (p.210). Records of educational attainment and knowledge background of most hired and pre-service correctional personnel have often been unsatisfying according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons as of 2000 statistics (Purpura, 1996 p.373). As supported by Bosworth (2002), education levels of correctional officers consist of 34.6% of officers with high school diploma, 19.2% possess bachelor’s degree, and the remaining population are either college or high school undergraduates (p.121).

Educational attainment of an officer plays an important role in the individual’s decision to pursue career advancement and to utilize available opportunities for trainings (Bosworth, 2002 p.121). According to the study of Pollak and Sigler (1998), correctional officers who have undergone series of specialized training programs report lower levels of stress and burnout levels due to learned stress and management skills.  Meanwhile, according to Abramsku and Fellner (2003), correctional officers without formal training courses are likely to resort on excessive use of force violating Eight Amendment of U.S Constitution (malicious and sadistic use of force against a prisoner implicating harm rather than good) (p.79).

Correctional officers’ primary role within prison environment is the primary defense units in preventing negative activities (e.g. in-mate riots, suicide attempts, psychological breakdown, etc.) inside and outside the prison environment. According to Scott and Gerbasi (2005), correctional officers are the front-liners available 24 hours daily enabling them to strictly monitor the activities, plots, and conditions of inmates religiously (p.74). As supported by the study of Dvoskin and Spiers (2004), correctional training courses is more formulaic emphasizing on demonstration, practice, confirmation and theory application, which trains correctional officers in analyzing situation and critically planning appropriate solutions to conflicts encountered. Despite the many studies (e.g. Dvoskin and Spiers, 2004; Finn, 1998; Dowden and Tellier, 2004) supporting the value of education and training for correctional officers, some studies are able to reveal the negative impact of education and training among correctional officers who had undergone such course programs.

In a meta-analytic study conducted by Maahs and Pratt (2001), 19 empirical studies with a total of 6,427 cases had been analyzed in order to determine the different predictors of negative attitudes against correctional employment. Based on the results, correctional officers with higher educational attainment and finished training courses had manifested negative job attitudes compared to those with no training course taken and less than high school education (Maahs and Pratt, 2001). As explained by O’Toole and Eyland (2005), in-service training allows the officer to understand the possible career development ahead instead of senior correctional officer opportunity (p.219). As soon as an officer graduates from in-service training, career advancement to higher managerial position becomes the primary target of trained correctional officers.  Currently, there are at least 12 documented universities (e.g. Charles Sturt University, etc.) offering Masters Degree program and 40 different specialized training courses for correctional officers to quality in higher correctional administrative position (O’Toole and Eyland, 2005 p.215). According to Leech and Cheney (2002), promotion from correctional officer to senior administrative positions only require examinations and exercises implemented within job simulation centers through official training courses (e.g. National Vocational Training on Custodial Care, etc.) accredited by Federal Bureau of Prisons or ACA (p.654). Correctional officers who have finished the specialized courses on administration and prison management usually apply for managerial correctional positions leaving their positions to recruits in exchange to promotions (Leech and Cheney, 2002 p.654). According to Leibling (1992), training courses facilitate a theoretical cycle of correctional career contributing to the personnel understaffing, higher correctional demand, and eventually compromising the standards of qualifications for applicants in order to fill in the employment quota (p.209).  Based on the study results of Leiber, Schwarze and Mack et al. (2002), correctional officers who have obtained their specialized training course are likely to develop punitive attitudes against correctional employment except for higher forms of management. Despite the different impacts of training among correctional officers, an effective training course is still an essential approach to prevent training problems confronting prison management.

d.    Training Problems Confronting Prisons and Jails Management

Correctional training has become significant to the enhancement and development of correctional workforce, especially in expanding their scope of practice. According to Josi and Sechrest (1998), many correctional agency administrators before the late 1990s have been hesitant in developing and establishing career programs for correctional officers due to their fears of positional displacements, especially when officers decide to pursue management position as an outcome of career progression (p.67). As mentioned by the latter discussion, training courses have become the key access of promotion from correctional officer to senior administrative positions available in the correctional facility (Leiber, Schwarze and Mack et al., 2002). Regardless of the theory on positional displacement, most considerable problems associated with training courses include (a) the insufficient number of educational institutions supporting, providing and developing training courses for correctional officers, (b) growing demand for trained correctional officers, and (c) increasingly complex tasks of correctional officers requiring specialized training courses prior to actual practice (Wells, Minor and Wallace et al., 2007).

Correctional training courses and programs are considered as tertiary education programs for correctional officers. According to O’Toole and Eyland (2005), various college universities, such as Mitchell College of Advanced Education or Charles Sturt University, have initially offered tertiary education programs between 1980s for correctional officers (p.218). Unfortunately, the goal of the program (to expand the scope of practice of correctional officers) has not been meant due to the conclusion that correctional officers viewed tertiary education as a useful promotion qualification for executive or higher correctional positions. The program has been immediately abandoned and subjected for continuous debates and discussions. Fortunately, as the 1990s approached, ACA and Federal Bureau of Prisons have decided to reestablish tertiary programs in an effort to resolve the growing personnel deficiencies in most prison institutions of United States (Josi and Sechrest 1998, p.67). According to Leech and Cheney (2002), the demand for multi-disciplinary correctional officers has continued to increase keeping at phase with the growing prison population (p.654). Unfortunately, the available trainers, universities, and organizations able to provide tertiary education programs are limited and unable to cater to the large number of correctional officers demanding educational advancement (Wells, Minor and Wallace et al., 2007). The conflicts of interests brought by career advancements and provisions of tertiary education among correctional officers have led to (a) the increased demand for multidisciplinary correctional officers with interactive skills, (b) increased competition for administrative or higher correctional positions, and (c) compromised training outputs brought by inadequate trainers and supporting institutions (O’Toole and Eyland, 2005 p.219; Finn, 1998). Today, the minimum requirements for correctional officer applications are at least five GCEs, assessment process (e.g. physical, psychological examinations, etc.), and record checks (Pollock, 2005 p.198). Meanwhile, some organizations require no formal educational qualifications as long as applicants pass the assessment and practical exercises.

i.    Training Problems: Predisposing Elements

Correction administrators, especially the supervising and managerial departments, have always been disconnected from the inside conditions of prisons affecting both correctional officers and inmates. Added by McShane and Williams (1993), correctional officers even experience professional alienation in the field of social justice, and most of the time unsupported in their concerns on officers’ safety, benefits and training programs (p.56). The professional isolation encourages negative attitudes against lower correctional positions. According to the study of Farkas (2001), pressure obtained by the low-level correctional staffs (e.g. officers, etc.) from mid-level administrators has been identified as the primary cause of job dissatisfaction related to high-levels of stress and burnout. Meanwhile, Finn (1998) relates high levels of job dissatisfaction to lower retentions of correctional officers leading to feelings of frustration in obtaining correctional career promotion though tertiary education (O’Toole and Eyland, 2005 p.219).The cycle continues to occur predisposing the training problems of ineffective training output, deficiency in multidisciplinary correctional officers and increased competition in the higher correctional management. As discussed in the latter sections, the correctional training program itself consists of the fundamental, multifaceted subjects vital to the practice enhancement of correctional officers (Schaufeli and Peeters, 2000). However, the idea of using correctional training as an instrument of promotion predisposes several chained conflicts that may eventually compromise the management quality of correctional officers within prisons and jails.

ii.    Pre-Service and On-the Job Trainings

Pre-service and OJT are part of workforce investments in correctional career development and education programs. O’Toole and Eyland (2005) mention that lack of pre-service and/or OJT prevents the expansion of officers’ correctional tasks due to the inability to render higher classified skills requiring sufficient training modules (e.g. CPR, psychological examinations, physical examinations, gun training, etc.) (p.211). According to Pollock (2005), most states require applicants to have least a high school diploma or General Educational Development (GED), at least 18 years of age, with no criminal records, domestic violence convictions, and must be able to perform fundamental sensory and physical functions (p.199). Meanwhile, approximately 75% of American states require medical examinations and psychological screening for qualifying as correctional officers, while the other sets of officers-in-training are required to undergo course-dependent or institutionalized screening program (Morgan, 2000 p.132). The ACA is responsible for the accreditation and monitoring of all pre-service, in-service and specialized training curricula of organizations catering correctional tertiary advancement programs (Fogg, 2008). Aside from curriculum monitoring, ACA together with U.S. Bureau of Prisons also monitors the trends of correctional trainings in different states across America (Wells, Minor and Wallace et al., 2007). However, despite the strict monitoring and quality assurance implemented by these institutions, effectiveness of training courses still depend on the usage on whether the training accomplishments are applied for promotional purposes or for senior correctional occupation.

iii.    Educational Requirement: Discrepancies and Gaps

In order to maximize the correctional workforces, the need for multidisciplinary and integrated correctional training has become the primary concern of the 21st correctional systems. Ideally, the U.S Federal Bureau of Prisons hires GS-05 grade level correctional officers with (a) a full four-year course study under any Bachelor’s Program from an accredited institution, or (b) alternatively three years of full-time general experience on any of the following: public service, counseling, supervising & managing, teaching, commissioned sales, and emergency handling (U.S. Federal Bureau of Prisons, 2007). However, according to Fogg (2008), the ratio of correctional personnel to the current number of prison population is already imbalanced brought by the uneven growth rate of personnel and prison population. Meanwhile, Leech and Cheney (2002) claim that there are certain cases wherein correctional officers are hired regardless of educational attainment, and this commonly occurs in small-scale state prisons (p.654). As supported by Levinson (2002), even ACA has reported that the majority of correctional officers possess high school diploma instead of the required bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution (p.327). Meanwhile, Bosworth (2002) has proven these through his statistics of 34.6% correctional officers with high school diploma versus 19.2% of correctional officer population possessing bachelor’s degree. In addition, U.S Federal Bureau of Prisons has also imposed an age requirement of 37 years old, while other authors (Pollock, 2005; Leech and Cheney, 2002) reveal hiring of recruits with an age criteria of 18 years old who are likely incapable of possessing bachelor’s degree.

e.    Organizations and Legislations on Correctional Training

Correctional training facilities, modules, and trainers themselves are subjected to careful evaluation, examinations and ACA accreditation prior to the actual program implementation (Pollock, 2005 p.365). According to O’Toole and Eyland (2005), accreditations of correctional training programs are implemented in order to ensure the quality of subject components incorporated within the course modules (p.220). Furthermore, ACA accreditation ensures the timely information, applicability of tertiary education and subject components, and the target population aimed by the program (e.g. correctional officers, mid-level administrators, pre-service, in-service, etc) (Wells, Minor and Wallace et al., 2007). Tertiary education facilitated by an accrediting institution formalizes the profession instead of being an occupation. Policies on qualifications and training quality assurance are enacted in order to maintain the high standards of correctional training.

However, there are cases wherein U.S Bureau of Prisons has to adjust their qualification standards in order to meet the profession demand within the prison system. As stated by the Bureau (2007), “…waivers are available for hard-to-fill positions when no qualified U.S. citizens are available.” The idea of adjusting the qualification standards aim to resolve the understaffing of significant positions, which does not exclude the understaffing situation of correctional officers. Unfortunately, standards or qualification adjustments result to the hiring of unqualified applicants, which most of the time consist of recruits with low educational attainment and occupational experiences (Pollock, 2005 p.365).

In order to resolve the issue, ACA suggests the strict imposition of qualification standards, while at the same time encouraging tertiary training courses to maximize the existing functions of correctional officers. Josi and Sechrest (1998) mention the existing Educational Leave Program (ELP) granting an officer the right of absence from duty or employment in cases wherein an officer decides to undertake academic or vocational instruction programs as part of the in-service training requirement (p.68). ELP program is being implemented in most states, such as Michigan and North Dakota. It may even occur as outside workshops, seminars, state academies and even formal educational programs under junior college degree (Josi and Sechrest, 1998 p.68). Implementations of such policies encourage correctional officers to undergo the correctional training for the enhancement of their skills and expansion of practice.

Meanwhile, U.S. Federal Bureau of Prisons (2007) mandate the in-trainings and include pre-service training in the standard employment procedures. However, the standard training process conducted in areas, such as the pre-service training, does not contain other significant subjects to confront the changing prison environment (Bosworth, 2002 p.121). The subject components imposed by the bureau include (1) Firearms, (2) Self-Defense, (3) Written Academic Test on policies and procedures, and the (4) Physical Abilities Test (PAT) (U.S. Federal Bureau of Prisons, 2007). However, according to Leibling (1992), none of these subjects enhances the correctional officers’ skills in handling basic psychological situations, such as suicide prevention, inmate communication, etc (p.66).

f.      Future Implications of Incompetent Correctional Officer Course

Many correctional systems are continuously trying to meet the increasing range of requirements within correctional facilities. Confronted by the scarce source of correctional recruits, education program and career development skills are indeed essential in resolving such issue (O’Toole and Eyland, 2005 p.210). As stated by McShane and Williams (1993), “the future of correctional management is not predicted on technology, capacity or facility design; rather, the future rests on the successful management of correctional workforce” (p.57). With the current subject components introduced to correctional recruits in their pre-service training, the essence of training involves the enhancement of the recruits physical well-being to impose the policies within the correctional systems. According to O’Toole and Eyland (2005), one of the future challenges of correctional officer training programs is to develop a social climate wherein such group of workforce are highly valued and continuously trained for career enhancement (p.211).

Meanwhile, aside from the imperfections in the subject curricula, the cyclical trends depicting employment, recruiting, training, and promotional procedures predispose (a) further understaffing of correctional officers, (b) decline of knowledge, skills, and ability (KSA) competencies of correctional officers, and (c) compromise in the standard qualifications and recruitment process in order to fill in the growing demand of correctional workforces. Future implications of current correctional officer standards and training courses possess interdependent components producing chains of reactions.

III.           Synthesis of Literature Review

In synthesis of the literature review, training problems currently being experienced by correctional systems include (a) the misdirected purpose of training in terms of using the course program for promotional means, (b) ineffective pre-service training components imposed by U.S. Federal Bureau of Prisons, and (c) compromise of recruitment qualifications leading to the hiring of poorly educated applications. Despite the low number of published literatures on correctional training problems, the literature review is able to determine the existing relationships between the current trends of correctional officers within the prison environment and the training courses mandated by the Federal Bureau of Prisons and accredited by ACA.

Training courses are supposed to diversify, enhance, and develop multidisciplinary skills among correctional officers sine they are considered the front-lining defense structures of the prison environment. Tertiary education programs (i.e. in-service training, specialized course programs) should produce senior level correctional officers. However, based on the literary accounts, correctional officers who have undergone the required training courses utilize these achievements as another set of qualifications for immediate promotion in the higher or mid-level managerial or administrative positions available in the correction institution. Unfortunately, the event leads to the cyclical notion of training-promotion predisposing the idea of poorly educated, understaffed, and skill-limited occupational officers catering to the growing demands of the prison population.

Identification of Gaps:

Throughout the literature review, several gaps have been identified creating incongruent data and relationships in the existing trends, correctional officers’ competencies, and the effectiveness and efficiency of training courses provided. Majority of prison literatures have focused in the social subjects, such as employment stress and burnouts, gender profiling, etc. Literatures studying and analyzing the effectiveness and efficiency of correctional training courses are only few and dated below 20th century. The gaps suggest and recommend quantitative and qualitative studies in the subject of correctional training and competencies of correctional officers. The following recommended studies derived from the identified gaps are:

Ø  Qualitative study on the perceptions in the current systems of correctional training prevailing among correctional officers both in pre-service and in-service population

Ø  Controlled analysis using both qualitative and quantitative approaches in evaluating the competencies of correctional officers during pre-training and post-training phases

Ø  Quantitative study using statistics, SPSS data and records review analyzing the cyclical process of recruitment, training and promotion in response to issues on training, recruitment and education compromises

Ø  Qualitative study on the need for reconstructing the correctional training curricula in relation to the existing trend of requirements within the prison population

IV.          References

Abramsky, S., & Fellner, J. (2003). Ill-equipped: U.S. Prisons and Offenders with Mental Illness. New York, U.S.A: Human Rights Watch.

Boros, J., Munnich, I., & Szegedi, M. (1998). Psychology and Criminal Justice: International Review of Theory and Practice. New York,London: Walter de Gruyter.

Bosworth, M. (2002). The U.S. Federal Prison System. New York,London: SAGE Press.

Colvin, M. (1992). The Penitentiary in Crisis: From Accommodation to Riot in New Mexico. New York, U.S.A: SUNY Press.

Dowden, C., & Tellier, C. (2004, February). Predicting work-related stress in correctional officers: A meta-analysis . Journal of Criminal Justice, 32, 31-47 .

Dvoskin, J. A., & Spiers, E. M. (2004, March). On the Role of Correctional Officers in Prison Mental Health. Journal of Psychiatric Quarterly, 75, 41-59.

Farkas , M. (2001, February). Correctional Officers: What Factors Influence Work Attitudes?. Corrections Management Quarterly, 5, 20-26.

Finn, P. (1998, December). Correctional Officer Stress: A Cause for Concern and Additional Help. Journal of Federal Probation, 62, 65-73.

Fogg, J. G. (2008, August). Face the Facts: We Need to Focus on Recruitment. American Correctional Association,

Josi, D. A., & Sechrest, D. K. (1998). The Changing Career of the Correctional Officer: Policy Implications for the 21st Century. New York, London: Butterworth-Heinemann.

Leech, M., & Cheney, D. (2002). Prisons Handbook. New York, London: Waterside Press.

Levinson, D. (2002). Encyclopedia of Crime and Punishment: Volumes I-IV. New York, U.S.A: SAGE Publishing.

Liebling, A. (1992). Suicides in Prison. New York, London: Routledge.

McShane, M. D., & Williams, F. P. (1993). The Management of Correctional Institutions: Volume 5 of Current Issues in Criminal Justice. New York, U.S.A: Taylor & Francis Publishing.

Morgan, M. (2000). Careers in Criminology. New York, U.S.A: McGraw-Hill Professional.

O’Toole, S., & Eyland, S. (2005). Corrections Criminology. New York, U.S.A: Hawkins Press.

Pollak, C., & Sigler, R. (1998, March). Low levels of stress among canadian correctional officers in the northern region of ontario . Journal of Criminal Justice, 26, 117-128 .

Pollock, J. M. (2005). Prisons: Today and Tomorrow. New York, U.S.A: Jones & Bartlett Publishers.

Purpura, P. P. (1996). Criminal Justice: An Introduction. New York,London: Elsevier Press.

Samaha, J. (2005). Criminal Justice. New York,London: Thomson Wadsworth.

Schaufeli, W. B., & Peeters, M. C. (2000, January). Job Stress and Burnout Among Correctional Officers: A Literature Review . International Journal of Stress Management, 7, 19-48.

Scott, C. L., & Gerbasi, J. B. (2005). Handbook of Correctional Mental Health. New York, U.S.A: American Psychiatric Publications.

U.S. Federal Bureau of Prisons, (2007, January). State of the Bureau 2007: Bureau of Prisons Staff: Everyday Heroes. U.S. Department of Justice Federal Bureau of Prisons,

Wells, J. B., Minor, K. I., & Wallace et al., L. H. (2007, February). National Institute of Corrections Training Academy Evaluation Project, 2005-2006 Participant Demographics, Overall Evaluation of Training, and Applicability Ratings. Central for Criminal Justice Education and Research, 1-11.

 

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