Procedural Justice : The Importance Of Staff Characteristics Essay

Procedural Justice : The Importance Of Staff Characteristics Essay

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Beijersbergen, K. A., Dirkzwager, A. J. E., Molleman, T., Van der Laan, P. H., & Nieuwbeerta, P. (2015). Procedural justice in prison: The importance of staff characteristics. International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, 59(4), 337-358. DOI: 10.1177/0306624X13512767
The authors studied prisoners in the Netherlands to ascertain whether correctional facility officers’ characteristics affected the prisoners’ perception of treatment while imprisoned. The theories are based on the belief that the treatment of inmates can affect their conduct, stressors and even behavior after prison. It has also been shown that in a correctional facility, the prisoners’ perceived treatment as being just and fair can assist in the management of order and safety in the institution and reduce recidivism rates. The authors hypothesized three characteristics of correctional officers’ behavior and demographics to relate to how a prisoner viewed the fairness of their experience in prison. Officer background, work-related attitudes and workloads were examined to assess positive correlations, if any. The authors found that females, being more social and focused on rehabilitative efforts had a slightly more positive outcome on the prisoners’ perceptions of treatment. Officers with high education also appeared to show more understanding and tolerance of inmates as well as the newest employees and those holding the longest tenure. Work related attitudes that were more positive in general showed to carry over in the attitudes toward inmates although dedicated research was limited and supported officers who favored rehabilitative techniques. The workload examination showed that the officer to inmate ratio was significant because the leve...


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...eferring to the obtaining qualified candidates for employment and retaining them to prevent understaffing. The workforce structure describes the distribution and mobility of personnel within the department. The authors also describe organizational stagnation and junior-heavy or senior-heavy departments’ need to shift staffing structure. They argue that the structure of a department not only affect the employees’ morale, from moving ahead too quickly within the department resulting in under skilled officers, to stagnation, resulting in underutilizing experienced employees. The authors argue that organizational stagnation can, over time, diminish an organization’s ability to change, learn and grow. Workforce planning is also affected by economic downturns which require departments of different sizes, composition and funding to accommodate employees as best as they can.

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