I need help on Explain correctional officer deviance. Include in your response
at least one of the three categories as discussed.
Explain correctional officer deviance. Include in your responseat least one of the three categories as discussed. Additionally, you shouldprovide at least three examples of the category you selected and one solutionfor each of the examples (three solutions total). Your response must be atleast 400 words in length.
Three Categories from textbook:Ian, R. J. (2016). Key Issues in Corrections (2nd Edition).Bristol University Press. https://online.vitalsource.com/books/9781447318750
Types of CO devianceBased on multiple sources,7 15 primary types of deviance engagedin by correctional workers can be identified. This type of behavior includesbut is not limited to: improper use of agency equipment and property; failureto fulfill the required duties of the job; mishandling/theft of inmateproperty; drinking alcohol on the job; accepting gifts from inmates andcontractors; discrimination; abuse of authority; sexual relationships withinmates; smuggling contraband; theft; unnecessary violence against prisoners;general boundary violations; and sexual harassment of fellow COs. Most of thesedeviant behaviors are interrelated and self-explanatory, but the followingsection reviews each activity in detail. The processes can be further brokendown into three categories depending on the target of the deviance (that is,the institution, inmates, and fellow COs). Although in reality all three groupsof behavior are interrelated, for clarity’s sake, this outline will leave thecategories separate.
Deviance against the institutionImproper use/misuse of agency equipment and property. Multipleopportunities exist for COs and administrators to take advantage of their organizations’resources for personal benefit and/or use. This includes acts as simple asusing photocopy machines (for birthday party invitations, recipes,school-related texts, and so on), stealing office supplies and equipment (for apart-time business, home use, and so on), and borrowing equipment (such asvehicles when theirs is in the shop). At other times, because of boredom,anger, or frustration, COs may break equipment, or they may use equipmentagainst other COs as a practical joke (for example, pepper spraying someone inthe bathroom).
Using corrections equipment (or machines, for example, walkietalkies, metal detectors, and so on) in a manner in which it was not intended(including “monkey-wrenching” or purposely breaking equipment/machines) is a frequentoccurrence in factories and the industrial sector (Abbey, 1975). Many of theseinstances are acts of low-scale, uncollectivized rebellion, a reflection offrustration with poorly functioning or maintained equipment/machines, or ofdifficulties with the management of an institution. Additionally, ifequipment/machines do not work properly, there may be a tendency among workersto further damage them, either as a demonstration of their discontent or as ameans to compel the administrators to finally replace the faultyequipment/machines.
Purposely shirking one’s duties. Periodically COs fail toperform their duties for other reasons than incompetence or an inability toremember. Such deliberate behavior could extend to: falsifying log entries whenfailing to do their rounds and/or when coming in late or leaving early; playingcards and/or computer games; using smart phones for personal business; watchingtelevision and/or listening to the radio (for example, during a sporting eventbroadcast); recreational reading; sleeping; leaving an assigned area withoutauthorization; refusing to respond to prisoners’ and/or fellow officers’requests because of general laziness; and taking longer breaks and lunch hoursthan given. In addition to ripping off a facility by not enhancing its valuethrough one’s labor, this can effectively compromise the security and safety ofother officers.
Theft of correctional facility property. Institutional food istypically not only of poor quality, but some of it may also disappear evenbefore being served in the mess hall. In some penitentiaries, staff mayoccasionally eat or steal the better food. They may take it home to feed theirfarm animals or their pets, or they may sell it to others. Additional items ofvalue may also mysteriously disappear and make their way into the correctionalworkers’ possession (Ross and Richards, 2002: chapter 12).
Abusing sick time. Although correctional employees are allowedto use sick time when they have a legitimate reason, as in many other institutions,reports of abuse of sick time periodically surface. Part of this deviancedepends on the documentation personnel are required to submit to theirsupervisors and the diligence of supervisors in reviewing this kind of behavior(Worley and Worley, 2011).
Accepting gifts from inmates and contractors. Occasionally,inmates (or their friends, families, and associates), because of camaraderie orin hopes of ensuring a future favor, try to give COs gifts. Likewise,contractors and suppliers to the facility or department of corrections (DOC)may give COs gratuities or discounts on goods or services. The hope is that iftheir products or services are needed, these vendors will be favored. Thesegratuities are typically frowned upon by the senior administrators andaccrediting bodies. Accepting gratuities may eventually (depending on thesituation) lead to corruption and/or the preferential treatment of inmates andcontractors. This prevents the institution from dealing with the vendors in anunbiased fashion. Decisions regarding possible contracts may be made based onpersonal relationships rather than the contractor/vendor who can give thebest-quality service at a reasonable cost. And, during the lifetime of thecontract, personal relationships may mitigate a CO complaining when there ispoor service.
Deviance against inmatesAbuse of authority. COs have a considerable amount of powerwhile on the job (Clemmer, 1958). They can write up (submit negative reportsabout) inmates they do not like, or they can humiliate convicts in front ofothers. Other kinds of abuse include confiscating inmates’ possessions,destroying their belongings, playing with the thermostat settings, arbitrarilydenying privileges, placing inmates who hate each other in the same cell,repeatedly tossing (searching) cells, repetitively strip-searching inmates, andfrequently transferring inmates to different correctional facilities.Alternatively, COs can give some inmates housing or jobs that are moredesirable, or more access to entertainment (for example, television) and sportsprivileges. All combined, these kinds of actions are often referred tocollectively as the abuse of authority. “[This] frequently involves one, orall, of the following activities: the acceptance of inmate payoffs for specialconsideration in receiving legitimate prison privileges … ; the acceptance ofinmate payoffs for special consideration in obtaining or protecting illicitactivities … and extortion” (Freeman, 1999: 350).
Mishandling/theft of inmate property. Inmates’ possessions comein and out of a facility either when convicts are transferred to an institutionor when friends and family mail or bring items to the prison. Inmates routinelycomplain that COs steal or damage their items. One recurring reason for thisbehavior is connected with the fact that, in the normal course of doing theirjobs, officers must ensure the safety of the institution and prevent contrabandfrom coming into the jail or prison. That is why, for example, COs aretypically required to remove the covers of hardcover books and search inmates’personal effects at intake and during cell searches (Worley and Cheeseman,2006).
Discrimination toward inmates. The U.S. jail and prison systemhas experienced a long history of discriminatory behavior directed towardcertain racial and ethnic minority inmates (especially African American andHispanics), and toward those who are homosexual, lesbian, and transgender(Souryal, 2009). This can range from the kinds of amenities they are providedto being singled out for violence/excessive force.
Violence/excessive force against prisoners. The prison staff canand do use violence against convicts. They are allowed by law to use force whenlife and property are in peril. Nonetheless, two major concerns arise from theuse of force: How frequently is force used, and is it done in an indiscriminatemanner? Most often, officers will avoid using violence if possible, since itcreates ill-will that the prisoners are not likely to forget. Instead, correctionalworkers rely on threats and humor to motivate inmates to comply withdirectives. When officers beat inmates (not to be confused with excessiveforce), this is often precipitated by the latter having initiated or followedthrough on an attack or instigating work strikes, riots, or escape attempts(Kerness and Ehehosi, 2001; Pratt et al., 1999).
Unlike the deadly violence that convicts inflict on one another,most acts of violence committed by COs are psychological. If the officers wantto remind a prisoner about who is in charge, they might destroy that convict’smail, refuse to turn up the heat, deny telephone privileges, or toss theprisoner’s cell more frequently than normal. In the middle of the night, whilea convict is sleeping, COs may overturn a bed, dumping them onto the floor. COsdo not usually take the time to politely wake up an inmate; rather, theofficers might drag them to the floor, handcuff them, and rummage through theirpersonal items to search for weapons, drugs, or other contraband items. Anofficer who wants to particularly anger an inmate might confiscate pictures ofloved ones, sheets, clothing, food, and legal papers.
Strip searches, ostensibly used to detect drugs and weapons, areanother form of intimidation and violence. COs can order an arrestee to gothrough this humiliating act numerous times a day on the cellblock, in thecafeteria, outdoors, or when entering or exiting the visitation room. Aprisoner may be forced to stand naked outside in a snowstorm, regardless of thedanger of frostbite. This might even happen below the gun tower, with M-16 orAR-15 rifles and shotguns pointed in the prisoner’s direction.
Sometimes, in medium and maximum security prisons, when the COsthink an inmate may have contraband hidden inside his or her rectum, a stripsearch will include a finger wave. Similar to a doctor conducting a prostateexamination, the CO or medical professional (for example, nurse) will insert agloved finger in the rectum – but the correctional worker is much less likelyto be as gentle as a doctor. It must also be remembered that staff do notnecessarily have to inflict violence on an inmate themselves; they can oftenconvince another prisoner to do it on their behalf (Cohen et al., 1976; Hemmensand Atherton, 2000; Hemmens and Stohr, 2001).
Sexual relations with or assault of inmate.8 Over the years, along history of the sexual abuse of female convicts by male staff members atthe women’s prisons has been documented (Marquart et al., 2001; Worley andWorley, 2011). In most states, sexual relations or inappropriateness betweenprison staff and convicts is considered by law to constitute sexual assault orrape. Consensual sex between the keepers and the kept does not exist. Over thepast two decades, hundreds of COs have been fired and/or indicted and convictedon sexual assault charges (Human Rights Watch, 1996; Moss, 2008; Stewart,1998).
Some state prison systems, like Georgia’s, have implementedtough “no touch, no contact” policies. In these situations, men are not allowedto supervise female convicts. If a male enters the unit, COs are instructed toannounce “man [or male] on range.” At some federal prisons for women,administrators have installed hotlines through which female prisoners can makecomplaints if they have been sexually abused. Sometimes this is a publicrelations exercise designed to garner support from the wider public bypublicizing that something is being done about this problem. Nonetheless,several states have still not outlawed staff–inmate sex to date.
Although female sexual relations with inmates occur (forexample, Worley et al., 2010), historically sexual relations with prisonershave been more of a problem with male correctional employees than with femalecorrectional workers (Beck et al., 2007). However, news stories of male-on-maleand female-on-female sexual relations are occasionally reported. For example,in 2000, Garrett Cunningham, while incarcerated at the Luther Unit of the TexasDepartment of Criminal Justice, was repeatedly raped, not by a fellow inmatebut by a CO. Stories about female officers abusing male inmates are rare, as itis often perceived that male prisoners are the beneficiaries in this kind ofbehavior.
Deviance against other COsDrinking on the job. COs who come to work under the influence ofalcohol, drink on the job, use prescription or over-the-counter drugs in amanner in which they are not prescribed or illegal drugs that impair theirjudgment, are unable to properly respond to the demands of their work. Theythreaten not only their own safety, but also that of their fellow COs. Alcoholuse is often part of the CO subculture. Drinking is usually done forcamaraderie, social bonding, and stress relief. Using illegal drugs, or usingprescription drugs in a manner in which they were not intended, may set COs upfor charges of corruption (that is, they are the first to be suspected ofsmuggling contraband into the facility), regardless of the means by which thesubstances were obtained.
General boundary violations. Boundary violations include“actions that blur, minimize, or disrupt the professional distance betweencorrectional staff members and prisoners” (Marquart et al., 2001: 878). Thistype of conduct, including inappropriate relationships, disregards the typicalroles of COs as supervisors and guardians, and inmates as individuals who areto follow orders. This kind of deviance can be further demarcated into generalboundary violations which are “‘unserious’ framebreaks committed by employeeswho accepted from inmates, or exchanged with inmates, … drinks, food, craftwork or materials, or wrote letters to prisoners” (883). Boundary violationsupset the power relations between COs and the inmates.
Discrimination. Correctional workers and organizations, likemost people, should be cognizant about discriminating based on age, race,ethnicity, sexual preference, and national origin. This kind of discriminationcan occur in the hiring of potential COs and the treatment of inmates. Startingin the 1960s, a series of lawsuits were brought on behalf of women who appliedto be COs. This coincided with massive changes due to the 1964 Civil RightsAct. These steps helped pave the way for the increased hiring and promotion ofwomen in the corrections field (for example, Zupan, 1992). Discriminationagainst women as COs does not simply end with hiring and promotion, but it canalso be detected in “tokenism, differential treatment by male supervisors andadministrators, and opposition by male co-workers” (330). Discrimination alsotakes on particularly ugly forms in the occasional news media story about COsbeing members of radical right wing organizations, such as Aryan Nations or theKu Klux Klan (Camp et al., 2001).
Sexual harassment of fellow correctional workers. Both male andfemale officers and administrators may engage in sexual harassment directedtoward each other. This may include repeatedly asking fellow workers for dates,inappropriate touching, and stalking. Sexual harassment can also be exhibitedin the creation of a hostile work environment by bringing pornographicmagazines to work, displaying pornographic materials on the job, objectifyingother individuals, and making comments about body parts (Britton, 1997; Savickiet al., 2003; Stohr et al., 1998; Worley and Cheeseman, 2006).
Smuggling contraband. Contraband is brought into prisons withthe help of a variety of individuals, including COs (Kalinich, 1986; Lankenau,2001). These items vary from institution to institution, from state to state,and typically include alcohol, cell phones, cigarettes, condoms, currency,drugs, nicotine patches, tobacco, and tattooing materials. These are oftencomponents of the “inmate economy” and are frequently used for exchange.Correctional workers who bring in such items may have been compromised (forexample, an inmate or group of convicts may have damaging information on a COthat can be used against them), or they may see these opportunities asadditional ways to supplement their income.
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