Understanding and Managing Corrections Officer Stress: Free Online Resource
*Editor’s note: The free publication below is offered as part of AMU’s series on stress and wellness in public safety. To access the law enforcement version, click here. To access the fire/EMS version, click here.
By Rob Stallworth
Corrections is a noble profession and a critical component of the criminal justice system. Corrections officers, or COs, provide supervision and control, as well as implement effective programs and re-entry services. However, little attention has been paid to the health and well-being of correctional staff.
It’s common for staff to suffer from burnout and post-traumatic stress. Adjusting to a system of rehabilitation and changes in administrative leadership can put a lot of pressure on correctional staff. Such factors can lead to apathy, which is dangerous for employees, inmates and ultimately, the public.
Thankfully, we are now starting to recognize the importance of wellness in corrections. We hope the articles in this publication will help further the conversation.
We start with a series of articles that raise awareness of stress and PTSD in corrections. This is followed by a second series of articles that discuss various tactics to control stress and increase officers’ resiliency.
This publication provides basic instruction for correctional staff to maintain an ongoing focus on their personal wellness throughout their careers. We also hope it makes the case for developing wellness programs within departments, which may extend the life professionals both in their careers and beyond.