Addressing Correctional Officer Stress: Programs and Strategies. Issues and Practices.Report as inadecuate

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A review of the literature and interviews with over 50 people in the field revealed that job-related stress is widespread and possibly increasing among correctional officers. This publication is intended to help correctional administrators develop an effective program for preventing and treating correctional officers' stress. A variety of approaches are described for relieving officers' stress. Seven case studies of well-established and replicable stress programs are presented. Establishing such programs have many benefits such as: (1) reducing overtime costs incurred when officers take sick time or quit because of job-related stress; (2) improving officer performance by enhancing staff morale; (3) increasing institutional safety by reducing distractions caused by stress; (4) improving relations with the union by working together; and (5) showing concern for employees by demonstrating that department cares about staff as human beings. Correctional and sheriff's departments need to address several considerations to make their programs effective such as: appoint staff who can stand the stress of helping others who experience stress; work collaboratively with administrators, union officers, and family members; maintain confidentiality; and monitor program activities and evaluate their effectiveness. (Contains 10 exhibits and 9 appendixes.) (JDM)

Descriptors: Burnout, Coping, Intervention, Models, Police, Probation Officers, Program Development, Stress Management

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Author: Finn, Peter


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