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Prison Guards' Attitudes Toward Components of the Criminal Justice System

NCJ Number
Criminology Volume: 18 Issue: 2 Dated: (August 1980) Pages: 227-236
B M Crouch; G P Alpert
Date Published
10 pages
This article reports prison guards' attitudes toward police, lawyers and the law, and the judicial system and suggests what these attitudes may mean.
Three Washington State prison units with security levels of minimum, medium, and maximum participated in the study, and 176 of their guards were interviewed. Analysis of the data showed that guards generally held the justice system and its personnel in high regard. Guards generally reported positive attitudes toward police and more moderate attitudes toward lawyers. Approximately 50 percent reported positive attitudes toward lawyers, while over 35 percent indicated mixed attitudes or ambivalence toward them. Guards reported more positive attitudes, however, toward law and the justice system than toward lawyers or even police. Although guards in the study might encounter situations which cause them to raise questions about judicial wisdom and other aspects of the system, their fundamental support of the system was strong. A note and 21 references are appended.