The number of females in prison, jail, and probation populations has grown at a considerably faster rate than males. Despite this growth, the correctional system is failing to address the rehabilitation needs of women during and after incarceration. AMU professor Michael Pittaro talks to one former inmate about her experience in the prison system and the support she's received now that she's on parole.
On June 6, convicted murderers Richard Matt and David Sweat escaped from a maximum security prison in New York and remain at large, despite a massive nationwide manhunt involving local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies.
The primary suspect in assisting the prisoners’ elaborate escape plan is Joyce “Tillie” Mitchell, who worked in the prison as a tailor shop instructor. AMU'S Michael Pittaro discusses the ways inmates seek to manipulate corrections staff and the training needed to educate corrections officers so they do not fall prey to inmate manipulation tactics.
One might assume the greatest sources of stress for corrections officers are the threat of physical violence and hardships from working in an understaffed environment, right? As it turns out, those things are not causing officers the most stress. Instead, it is issues with prison administration and inconsistent leadership practices. AMU professor Michael Pittaro writes how prison administrators need to move away from punitive and authoritative styles of leadership and adopt a transformational leadership approach. Read how this style of leadership could help boost morale, improve job satisfaction, and even improve workplace safety.
Learning how to manage stress is critical for corrections officers who work in highly volatile and dangerous environments. High levels of stress can adversely impact an officer’s professional performance and personal life, therefore, it’s important for officers to learn what is causing their stress and healthy strategies to properly manage it.
Throughout my 20-year career in corrections, I learned about the various causes of and responses to prisoner suicides, but very little (if any) attention was paid to the issue of correctional officer suicides. However, research finds that corrections officers have a suicide rate that is twice as high as the rate of police officers and the general population. Agencies must equip their EAPs to better address mental health and trauma as well as educate officers (and their families!) about indicators of suicide in officers.
By John Meekins
The term “human trafficking” makes headlines every day, but those headlines often miss the point of a truly sordid story of women locked into lives for which there is no end—often because law enforcement and corrections officials do not recognize the true situation.