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Individual and Structural Causes of Authoritarianism in Correction Officers (From Issues in Correctional Training and Casework, 1986, P 28-33, 1986, Bruce I Wolford and Pam Lawrenz, eds. -- See NCJ-106389)

NCJ Number
R B Blair; C E Hurst
Date Published
6 pages
Individual and structural factors related to authoritarianism were explored in data for 63 correctional officers at 6 State prisons, interviewed in 1976 and 1983.
During this time, prison crowding, officer absenteeism, and inmate assaults all increased significantly. Authoritarianism and anomie scores also increased significantly over time, while officers' professional orientation decreased. For both 1976 and 1983, higher anomie level was significantly associated with greater authoritarianism, while higher education level and greater professionalism were associated with lower authoritarianism. Structural factors were not related to authoritarianism at either time. Also at both times, greater length of service was correlated with lower education level and higher professionalism was related to lower anomie. The explanatory effectiveness of these variables declined over time, suggesting that the impact of these factors decreases the longer officers are in their positions. Implications for personnel selection and training are discussed. 2 tables and 41 references.