Issue in Corrections Essay

            With the different and varied challenges present among workers within correctional facilities, there is a big task among managers to incorporate mechanisms that will boost morale and the motivation to continue working. Given the relative amount of stress and other issues in place, there needs to be an appropriate counterpart that will enhance the capabilities of employees and at the same time lessen the occurrences of quitting.

            The paper seeks to address several issues related to correctional management. With this aim in mind, the paper will look into related literature that seeks to look into the challenges brought about by work-family conflict (WFC). Another issue that shall be looked into revolves around the concept of how correctional management decisions create or negate the occurrences of stress and quitting of positions in a correctional institution.

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Work-Family Conflict

            The issue of work and family conflict in a correctional facility has been looked into and studied by Lambert et. al. The article looked into important factors that shaped the way each one causes the stress among workers and how it creates the notion of work-family conflict (WFC). “A survey of staff at a private Midwestern prison measured four dimensions of WFC: time-based work on family conflict, strain based work on family conflict, behavior-based WFC and family on work conflict” (Lambert et. al., 2006, p.371). After such, the study provided and pointed out several important the factors relationship with organizational commitment and its relative effects on job stress.

Determining Methods and Results

            The respondents in the study that were surveyed and questioned were members and staff in a high security private prison. (Lambert et. al., 2006, p.375) Following such notions, the dependent variables were pointed out which included (1) job stress, organizational commitment and (3) job satisfaction. On the other hand, the independent variables included: (1) work-family conflict and (2) personal characteristics. Each variable were measured using different statistical methods to create a qualitative approach over the research.

            The overall results of the study were measured using the Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) “Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) regression results indicate that strain based conflict was the only form of WFC to have a significant effect on job stress” (Lambert et. al., 2006, p.371). On the other hand, several variables were pointed out to affect job satisfaction while others point out to have an effect on organizational commitment.

            In conclusion, the author points out that the importance of the study is to serve as an important tool for awareness among correctional administrators. It is through such that the study points out several important alternatives and mechanisms that can help solve and alleviate the problems brought about by WFC and other stress related management that can help sustain growth and development.

 Slate’s study

            The article by slate focuses on the relative factors and central themes present that affect correctional officer stress and how such incidence brings about the necessity to quit the job. The article gives the relationship between officer stress and its effects towards organizational development. “While the personal effects of stress can be devastating to the individual, organizations are also negatively impacted” (Slate, 1997, p.398)

Determining Methods and Results

            In determining the needed sample for the study, Slate used the sample of correctional institutions to prove and determine her hypothesis. “To obtain a sample from the six traditional institutions (nonprivate), personnel were addressed at each shift roll call and asked to participate.” (Slate, 1997, p.400) The questionnaire that was given to respondents was to assess the different stress factors that affected every officer in a correctional institution. “To measure stress, the Occupational Environment Scale, a subscale of the Occupational Stress Inventory, was utilized.” (Slate, 1997, p.401) In the end after the independent and dependent variables were measured, a statistical table was given to measure the relative impact of stress among correctional officers and their initial preference to quit their position.

            The result of the study points out a distinct relationship between stress variables and notion of quitting the job. “All six independent variables were predictors of the thoughts about quitting one’s job or a predictor of a variable that made a direct contribution to the criterion variable” (Slate, 1997, p.403)

            In the end, Slate argues the relative importance of participatory management in correctional facilities. Employee participation must never be curtailed but on the other hand welcomed by the administration for it shall foster decisive growth and development. By making the administration aware of correctional employees needs, management can enact different policies that will limit the element of quitting and enhance motivation to work.

Synthesis and Conclusion

            The two studies both showcase an approach in dealing with stress and correlated it with different factors. The methodology and the way data was gathered was almost the same in comparison. Though their results may vary due to their different scopes and variables, both studies seem to point out one important element – awareness. By actively creating awareness, it can be an important and decisive tool in addressing the different risk factors involve in the occupation.

            Relating the two conclusions of the article, yes I will have to agree that administration must create mechanisms and tools that will help address the issue of stress in the workplace. Creating a work environment that seeks to address stress can help reap positive impacts. Managers must actively enhance such motivational strategies for it shall not only benefit the organization as a whole but also address the individualistic issues brought about by stress to its employees and their families.

References

Lambert, E.G., Hogan, N.L., Camp, S.D. and Ventura, L.A. (2004) The impact of work-family

conflict on correctional staff in Criminology & Criminal Justice. 6 no.4 Retrieved June 17, 2008 pp. 371-387

Slate, R.N. (1997) Participative Management and Correctional Personnel: A Study of the

Perceived Atmosphere for Participation in Correctional Decision Making and its Impact on Employee Stress and thoughts about Quitting in Journal of Criminal Justice. 25 no. 5 Retrieved June 17, 2008. pp. 397-408