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Correctional Officer Control Ideology: Implications for Understanding a System

NCJ Number
Criminal Justice Studies Volume: 19 Issue: 3 Dated: September 2006 Pages: 225-239
Michael S. Gordon
Date Published
September 2006
15 pages
This study examined 189 Maryland correctional officers' attitudes and beliefs about their control of inmates (control ideology) by scoring them on the Correctional Control Ideology Scale (CCIS).
The study concludes that the CCIS Scale provides an acceptable psychometric assessment of control ideology. The findings provide moderate support for the presence of correctional officer attitudes and beliefs that serve the rehabilitation of inmates, i.e., moderately high CCIS scores on "humanism" (sensitivity to the needs and problems of inmates) and lower CCIS scores on motivation to control inmates. African-American officers and officers working the evening shift tended to have these characteristics more than did White officers and officers on day shifts. To some degree, female officers were also more likely to have lower control ideology scores. Race and shift, however, were not highly influential in explaining the variance in CCIS scores in a multivariate model; they might best be explained in bivariate analyses. This suggests that additional measurement of a more humanistic perspective should be examined in combination with the current CCIS Scale in order to gain a clearer understanding of control ideology. The sample of officers worked at four Maryland State prisons with various security levels. The dependent variable was officers' scores on the CCIS, which consists of 20 scale items designed to identify respondents' beliefs about controlling prisoners. Independent variables were age, race, gender, marital status, education, military experience, position/title, years of service, shift, number of average contacts with inmates daily, income outside of corrections, and selection of corrections as a career. 2 tables, 31 references, and appended CCIS Scale