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Climate, Culture, and Correction Officer Wellness

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Project Description:

The team’s latest funded research project with the officers of the Massachusetts Department of Correction investigates the links between occupational culture, perceptions of climate, and officer wellbeing. Across our research projects, we have learned that corrections work as currently structured (with an over-reliance on seniority, uncompromising shifts, mandated overtime, opaque disciplinary processes, and rigid promotion structures) elicits and sustains an occupational culture that has negatively affected officers’ physical and mental wellbeing. Most importantly, we endeavor to show how fundamentally shifting the occupational workplace culture could generate immediate and long-term benefits for correctional organizations. We maintain that addressing some of the organizational stressors identified in our earlier studies will have meaningful impacts on job satisfaction and perceptions of occupational climate in the short-term that will in turn have profound effects on officers’ health and wellbeing in the long-term. Moreover, we contend that addressing the organizational stressors that appear to drive much of the dissatisfaction and discontent among the correctional workforce will shift the occupational culture, leading to improved efforts at recruiting and retaining a skilled workforce.


This project is funded by the National Institute of Justice

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