U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Open Juvenile Institutions as Work Sites for Custodial Officers - Toward the Occupational Socialization of Correctional Personnel

NCJ Number
Monatsschrift fuer Kriminologie und Strafrechtsreform Volume: 65 Issue: 4 Dated: (August 1982) Pages: 230-245
U Ziegert
Date Published
16 pages
To assess custodial officer adaptability to open facilities where security is no longer the primary concern, a survey compared the attitudes and working conditions of correctional staff in two open and two closed West German juvenile institutions.
Survey questions tapped job satisfaction, autonomy on the job, opinions regarding resocialization, occupational capability, perceptions of security, perceptions of order, and facility spatial arrangements. A total of 182 correctional officers were surveyed. Responses reveal that security is the principal area in which significant differences exist between the two settings. Working conditions in all other respects are comparable between the two types of institutions. Attitudinal differences between staff in the two types of institutions were ascertained regarding correctional philosophy, image of the inmates, and extent of prejudice in dealing with inmates. Staff at open institutions evidenced more positive and tolerant attitudes, but these appear to be related to job experience in open correctional settings. The findings suggest that staff adaptability should pose no insurmountable obstacle to the transformation of closed juvenile institutions to open regimes. Extensive tables, footnotes, and over 50 references are given.