|Today’s Challenges for Women in Corrections|
|By Robert Winters, JD, Professor, School of Criminal Justice, Purdue Global University|
Despite the opening of the corrections field generally to women beginning in the 1970s, it was during the opening years of the twenty-first century that women made the most substantial gains. In 2001, females represented 24.5 percent of the correctional staff in male facilities. By 2007 females represented approximately 40 percent of all correctional staff in adult facilities and by 2008 42 percent of staff in juvenile facilities. In many agencies women are on the verge of becoming the majority.
Yet female corrections professionals still face numerous challenges. Females tend to leave the corrections field at a higher rate than males. It is difficult to determine how much of this higher turnover results from entry into a field that was historically male-dominated, especially given what the body of research tells us about stress for corrections professionals, particularly those new to the field.
Studies in 1982 and 1984 revealed a disturbing discrepancy between the correctional workforce and the population in general. While the average life expectancy at the time was 75, for corrections professionals it was only 59. Research in 2001 confirmed that corrections officers had more health issues and a shorter lifespan than the general population. It is reasonable to wonder—and research has explored the question—whether the stresses unique to the corrections profession are linked to these disparities.
Certainly there are other associated risks, but workplace stress seems to be a major factor. A 2005 study reported that the divorce rate among corrections officers was twice that of other blue-collar professions. The 1982 study referenced previously reported a divorce rate of 27 percent among officers in the survey (the national rate in 1982 was 5.1 percent), with 39 percent reporting financial troubles and a shocking 88 percent reporting heart attacks.
Certainly the nature of corrections makes it inherently stressful, but surveys have shown that work-life balance tends to suffer significantly for those in the field, particularly for the large number who work a shift schedule. The problem of shift variance tends to be especially pronounced among female officers, many of whom are single mothers and face resultant childcare issues.
Females entering traditionally male-dominated occupations such as law enforcement, the military, and construction have faced two general categories of obstacles. One is hostility borne of the belief that “women can’t do this job,” or a hostile environment resulting from sexual innuendoes and jokes or simply insensitive language that is often tolerated by supervisors who fail to see such behavior as inappropriate. This sort of environment has become less common over the years as more and more women have entered such occupations, although the ongoing struggle that the U.S. military faces with sexual harassment and assault shows that the problem is hardly solved.
There is a second set of obstacles that are less overt and more insidious. Often acting out of genuine concern, male colleagues may shield females from “tough” assignments or tasks, be overly protective, or overlook mistakes or training opportunities. While such behavior might seem kind and helpful, it actually hinders the female’s occupational growth and can create barriers to future promotion. Such attitudes tend to arise out of cultural norms regarding appropriate “male” and “female” roles, and again in the U.S. military has played out in the debate over how males might react to wounded or endangered female soldiers in combat.
Women have traditionally adapted to such environments in a few different ways. One is “going along to get along,” in which females play along with sexual humor in particular. Another is to become “more male” by shedding traditionally “female” attributes such as empathy. But now some disturbing statistics raise the question of how the historical power imbalance between males and females may be affecting the behavior of some female corrections professionals.
Data collected in compliance with the Prison Rape Elimination Act and reported by two Bureau of Justice Statistics studies covering 2008-09 for juvenile facilities and 2008 for adult facilities showed that females were more likely than males to commit sexual abuse of inmates. Specifically, females were responsible for 95 percent of sexual abuse incidents in juvenile facilities and 80 percent of staff sexual misconduct in state facilities. The victims were almost always male.
As previously mentioned, in 2008 females represented 42 percent of staff in state juvenile facilities, meaning abuse was committed at more than twice the rate of male staff. Some details in the statistics do bear attention. First, more juveniles reported non-coerced sexual contact with staff (6.4 percent) than reported coerced contact (4.3 percent). Second, juveniles who had suffered prior sexual assault reported sexual abuse in their current facility at almost two and a half times the rate of those with no prior sexual assault history (24.1 percent versus 10.1 percent). The survey did exclude some claims of abuse based on inconsistent responses, unrealistic dates or personal information, and similar indicators of untruthfulness.
The adult facility survey was conducted among former state prisoners. Among respondents reporting staff sexual misconduct, 79 percent were male reporting misconduct by a female staff member, with an additional 5 percent reporting misconduct by both male and female staff. Inmates characterized sexual conduct with staff (of either gender) as “willing” in far more cases (4.6 percent of respondents) than “unwilling” (1.2 percent), though this number was biased by inmate gender: 4.8 percent of male inmates reported willing sexual contact with staff compared to 2.6 percent of females, and conversely 2.5 percent of female inmates reported unwilling sexual contact with staff versus 1.1 percent of males.
By no means is this an indictment of female corrections professionals. The incidents described by these two surveys represent a small percentage of all female staffers, and the fact remains that females are becoming more common in corrections because on the whole compared to males they are better educated, more law-abiding, and less prone to substance abuse. But it seems likely that a long history of male-female power imbalance may well have led a few women to abuse the staff-offender power imbalance that is inherent in the correctional setting. The entire corrections community bears the responsibility for identifying and resolving the root cause of these issues.
Corrections.com author, Robert Winters, holds a Juris Doctorate degree and is a Professor with Kaplan University. He is also a member of the National Criminal Justice Association and serves as a Western Regional Representative, a member of the National Advisory Board and their National Elections Committee.
Other articles by Winters
Login to let us know what you think
MARKETPLACE search vendors | advanced search
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
thank you for a super allocation. Your article has proved your difficult produce an impact and experience you've got were given on this showground. top notch .i be ashore on it studying. seo company los angeles
I am so happy to see this kind of brilliant informative post because all the details are very awesome and very interesting. World-Bio Coupon Codes
hey thanks for sharing. Comment by 回国寄行李
That was a great article indeed! I look forward to the next one ! The Celtic Zodiac has a closeness with the nature and based on the lunar cycle. Read further to know more.
You have summarized really well and made it really useful. Keep up the good work. You may prepare better for the future by reading your Aaj Ka Makar Rashifal. Get easy insights now.
hello what a talented call i've encounter and submit to me i have been looking for for this equal approachable of claim for surrounded by using per week and hardly ever got here throughout this. thanks very a whole lot and could see for more postings from you. assignment代写
I am regular visitor, how are you everybody? This article posted at this website is actually nice. 먹튀
Whats up very cool blog!! Guy .. Beautiful .. Amazing .. I'll bookmark your website and take the feeds also? I am satisfied to seek out a lot of helpful info here in the put up, we'd like develop extra techniques in this regard, thanks for sharing. . . . . . 먹튀검증
Hey there I am so excited I found your site, I really found you by mistake, while I was searching on Google for something else, Anyways I am here now and would just like to say kudos for a fantastic post and a all round thrilling blog (I also love the theme/design), I don't have time to go through it all at the moment but I have bookmarked it and also added your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read more, Please do keep up the fantastic job. 먹튀검증사이트
thanks for good post Regards Jake Ryan from Goldenwebdesign
i have a difficult come to be olden describing my mind going a propos for content, however I virtually felt I need to right here. Your article is absolutely omnipresent. I later the quirk you wrote this spread. cbd gummies
beautifully written article, if without help all bloggers presented the related content as you, the net could be a miles away and huge and wide and huge away afield afield away greater than before vicinity.. What Is Panama?
this is such a satisfying aid that you are supplying and you pay for it away for pardon. Watch Market Online - Source to watch latest news and trends on fire
I recognize that is one of the maximum significant information for me. And i am bustling studying your article. but must observation upon some trendy things, the internet site style is very last; the articles are earsplitting. thank you for the ton of actual and conceivable forward. baby change table
awesome article Lot's of opinion to read...fantastic man keep Posting and replace to human beings..thank you 网课代修
i'd subsequent to to make regarded that this blog clearly satisfied me to take steps it! thanks, each and each one fine reveal. 代写
this is such a nice useful resource that you are supplying and also you meet the price of it away for forgive. I hero reward seeing websites that take at the value of supplying a setting useful resource for set wandering. it's far the primeval what goes on the order of comes almost about recurring. Pinoy Lambingan
thank you for a super allocation. Your article has proved your difficult produce an impact and experience you've got were given on this showground. top notch .i be ashore on it studying. 사설토토
thank you for a super allocation. Your article has proved your difficult produce an impact and experience you've got were given on this showground. top notch .i be ashore on it studying. submit articles online for free
i am hoping the same satisfactory effort from you inside the well along as expertly. In reality your creative writing capabilities has stimulated me. sign makers Adelaide
I essentially thanks for the critical info re this supreme difficulty and spot deal with to greater significant posts. thanks plenty for taking part in this beauty article considering me. i am appreciating it very lots! looking lecture to to different large article. accurate success to the author! all the first-class! Click here
I desired to thank you for this captivating sensitivity!! I every one taking part in all tiny little bit of it I have you ever bookmarked to test out appendage things you pronounce. Online Freelance Essay Writers
You explained in a detailed way. Thanks for that. I like the post which you shared here. Omegle gives people a chance to meet different people online via text or video. other sites like omegle are given here.
I simply taking into consideration your take simply very greater or much less the occasion. I now have a determined concept round what this have an impact on is all approximately.. guide voyance
the object appears spectacular, however it would be beneficial if you can share greater approximately the suchlike subjects in the well ahead. hold posting. Bigg Boss 13 watch online
Your blog provided us following intense recommendation to do some thing taking into consideration than. each & all suggestions of your bring in are extraordinary. thank you lots for sharing. keep running a blog.. pinoy lambingan
suitable reveal, you have got denoted out a few brilliant factors, I likewise suppose this s a completely suitable internet site. i will visit anew for more mood contents and also, propose this website to every single one. thank you. Lambingan
다음드 tremendous illustrated flavor. I thanks kind of that. no doubt it will likely be fully beneficial for my properly in advance projects. could long gone to look some other posts as regards the identical problem!
먹튀 thanks for sharing the announcement.. dad and mom are worlds quality individual in every lives of character..they obsession or need to meet the rate of cancel needs of the pals.
Today Latest News thanks for sharing the data, store occurring the gratifying court battle going.... I in fact enjoyed exploring your web site. pleasant resource...
www.papolar.com The make known is written in altogether a pleasant appearance and it includes many beneficial records for me.
vmate apk hello what a talented call i've encounter and submit to me i have been looking for for this equal approachable of claim for surrounded by using per week and hardly ever got here throughout this. thanks very a whole lot and could see for more postings from you.
Thanks for sharing! Michael | pharm organics
chello what a talented call i've encounter and submit to me i have been looking for for this equal approachable of claim for surrounded by using per week and hardly ever got here throughout this. thanks very a whole lot and could see for more postings from you. Bandar Togel Online
In this modern world lots of people are living with open mind and it should be, before some years the people who were having the old thought which says girls should not go outside should not work should not educated bigger but the experts, and the most respectable person have changed the thoughts and ways of thinking's of the people, girls and ladies are also fully supportive by the intelligent service providers from college essay writing service from vetted .
Our main motive to provide different type of status like sad whatsapp status in hindi to the costumer. So click here to get status.