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Contrasts in Leadership: An Institutional Study of Two Prison Systems

NCJ Number
Arjen Boin
Date Published
253 pages
This is a study of institutional leadership and prison management under the U.S. Bureau of Prisons and the Dutch correctional system.
The study addresses how these prison systems began, how they currently operate, and the notable differences in their structures and modus operandi. The study's primary aim is to explore the link between leadership and administrative cohesion in the context of a prison system. A related goal is the empirical application of an institutional leadership theory. This research also considers some practical ramifications for administrative design. After identifying the many challenges to leadership in most public systems, a chapter focuses on several obstacles to integration by exploring the field of public administration and policy research. Selznick's theory of institutional leadership is discussed in relation to administrative cohesion in another chapter. In the next chapter, both theoretical perspectives are merged into a theoretical approach to leadership and cohesion. The variables are operationalized, and the research methods used in the empirical part of the study are described. The empirical analysis is preceded by a detailed description of the cohesiveness of the Dutch prison system and the U.S. Federal prison system. A chapter shows how Dutch prison leadership over the years has contributed to the fragmented nature of that system. The American experience with Federal prison leadership is discussed in relation to the cohesiveness of that system. Study findings are discussed in the concluding chapter. Chapter notes, a 440-item bibliography, and a subject index