U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Diversity in a Jail Work Setting: Evaluating the Impact of Racial Intolerance (From System in Black and White: Exploring the Connections Between Race, Crime, and Justice, P 213-225, 2000, Michael W. Markowitz and Delores D. Jones-Brown, eds. -- See NCJ-183600)

NCJ Number
Annette M. Girondi; Michael W. Markowitz
Date Published
13 pages
This study found that racial diversity and gender diversity are institutionalized in the correctional workplace, and that levels of job satisfaction and confidence in the organizational hierarchy of jails vary by race.
The study involved interviews with approximately 10 percent of correctional officers in a suburban New Jersey jail. In addition to 60 attitude questions, respondents were asked to provide information on race, gender, education, and length service at the jail. Of 109 correctional officers employed at the jail, 34 percent responded. Of the respondents, 92 percent were white and 8 percent were black. Minority males in leadership positions were relatively rare. There was significant dissatisfaction with jail leaders, a majority of whom were white. Blacks were no more comfortable than other minority research populations with approaching their supervisors. Controlling for sex, education, and tenure, race was a significant contributor to comfort levels associated with approaching supervisors with suggestions or concerns. There appeared to be a link between attitude differences of whites and blacks and the effective functioning of work teams. Significant differences were found between whites and blacks in the level of job satisfaction, with whites being more satisfied than blacks. Policy recommendations to improve the correctional work environment are offered. 18 references