Document Type



Summer 2019

Academic Department


Faculty Advisor(s)

Ian MacFarlane


Past literature on correctional officers is relatively sparse leaving many gaps in information important to supporting officers in their careers. Correctional officers have many experiences throughout their careers which affect their job satisfaction, levels of burnout, and turnover. Training in regard to mental health of the prisoners these officers are responsible for is one aspect of the career that requires more study. Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training is making strides in improving the skills of police officers when handling detainees with mental illnesses. CIT training focuses on knowledge about mental health, verbal de-escalation tactics, and increasing the officer’s confidence in interactions with those suffering from mental illness. This training could potentially be a positive tool for correctional officers to obtain, but there is little knowledge on its effectiveness in the correctional setting. Studies looking at the effectiveness of this program in police officers show positive changes in the behavior of the officers who receive the training and look at variables such as voluntary participation, feelings of self-efficacy, and knowledge of mental illness as well as other demographic factors which may be of influence. Finally, the concept of social distance has been briefly studied to date, but needs to be further studied so as to gain a deeper understanding of its effects on correctional officers, their relationships with the inmates, and even their views on solitary confinement.


SCARP 2019