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African American Wardens: Managerial Perspectives and Attitudes

NCJ Number
Corrections Management Quarterly Volume: 4 Issue: 1 Dated: 2000 Pages: 52-63
Katherine J. Bennett; W. Wesley Johnson
Date Published
12 pages
This article examines attitudes and perspectives toward punishment, job satisfaction, work-role orientations, and job pressures among African-American prison wardens.
The data for this analysis were obtained from the National Corrections Executive Survey-1995 (NCES-95), a nationwide survey of wardens of State-operated correctional facilities for adult inmates in the United States. The NCES-95 survey was mailed in July 1995 to 843 wardens of adult State prisons. A total of 641 wardens (78 percent) returned usable questionnaires. A total of 89 African-American wardens returned usable questionnaires, which was determined to be representative of the population of wardens in 1995, differing by only three percentage points in terms of race and less than two points in terms of gender. The questionnaire findings suggest that although African-American and Caucasian wardens differ politically, their managerial perspectives and attitudes are more similar than dissimilar. Both groups experience high levels of job satisfaction and managerial autonomy and are more oriented toward a rehabilitative work role than a custodial role, although significant differences existed between African-American and Caucasian wardens. Overall, however, the findings suggest that race is not one of the more important factors in warden managerial perspectives and attitudes. 7 tables, 2 figures, and 15 references