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The transition of the prison officer role in late-modern prisons: the case of Sweden
Örebro University, School of Law, Psychology and Social Work. (SOVIL)
2010 (English)Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In an era of increased incarceration of prisoners, there are still demands for prisoner rehabilitation. The eternal dilemma of safe custody and rehabilitative efforts to avoid re-conviction has shaped an increased specialisation into security-differentiated prisons, specialised wings and divided prison officer roles. In the case of Sweden, this threefold specialisation has reached a point where the occupational role is facing new problems and challenges. Drawing on results from a Swedish three-year research project, with five case-prisons and a nation-wide survey with 20 % of all prison officers, we argue that a specialization in the prisons creates new subcultures among prison officers with patterns overlapping individual attitudes, environmental conditions, as well as the traditional/non- traditional performances of the role. In the Swedish specialised wings correctional officers create representations of staff in other kinds of wings. In performing separate roles, either security/control or counselling/program management, they regard each others’ tasks as unimportant or less understandable. Different cultural patterns emerge in the prison context, where the professional representations, the emotional work and the use of formal rituals differ. While the specialisation might enrich the occupational role individually, the organisational changes also lead to work-place tensions and sub-cultural disintegration.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010.
National Category
Social Work
Research subject
Social Work
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-44064OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-44064DiVA: diva2:800610
Conference
62nd Annual Meeting of the American Society of Criminology (ASC), San Francisco, USA, November 17-20, 2010
Available from: 2015-04-07 Created: 2015-04-07 Last updated: 2017-10-17Bibliographically approved

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Nylander, Per Åke
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
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Language
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