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Swedish prison officers’ perceptions of management and support: key predictors and subgroups
Örebro University, School of Behavioural, Social and Legal Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1054-9462
2023 (English)In: Psychology, Crime and Law, ISSN 1068-316X, E-ISSN 1477-2744Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

With increasing numbers of prisoners, research on Swedish prison officers’ perceptions of management and support at work is warranted. Previous studies have mainly used a variable-centered approach, identifying several individual and organizational factors that influence prison staff's evaluation of their job. The present study adopted a person-centered approach, exploring the heterogeneity in a Swedish national sample of prison officers. Based on an extensive survey of the quality of prison job, 10 key predictors for overall prison regime evaluation were identified. Following latent class analysis, three distinct subgroups were discerned from the entire sample. Remarkably, a sizable subgroup with a relatively negative evaluation of the prison regime was observed. While most background covariates did not associate with the subgroup membership, prison officers who experienced violent or threatening incidents tended to report a negative evaluation of the prison regime. Intra-organizational social support, communication and loyalty are highlighted as key components of overall regime evaluation. Our findings suggest that enhancing collegial, management, and supervision support and communicative skills may increase prison officers’ job satisfaction. Beyond the organizational level of prisons, we also discussed the challenges that the Swedish prison system faces, along with the portrayal by social media of a violence-dominated environment.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2023.
Keywords [en]
Prison officer, Sweden, perception, management, job satisfaction
National Category
Law and Society Applied Psychology
Research subject
Criminology; Law; Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-104642DOI: 10.1080/1068316x.2023.2181962ISI: 000942245500001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-104642DiVA, id: diva2:1740777
Available from: 2023-03-02 Created: 2023-03-02 Last updated: 2023-03-30Bibliographically approved

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Zhao, XiangNylander, Per ÅkeBruhn, Anders

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