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Relationship Between Burnout and Support for Punishment and Treatment: A Preliminary Examination

NCJ Number
International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology Volume: 54 Issue: 6 Dated: December 2010 Pages: 1004-1022
Eric Lambert; Nancy L. Hogan; Irshad Altheimer; Shanhe Jiang; Michael T. Stevenson
Date Published
December 2010
19 pages
This study investigates the relationship between correctional staff burnout and the two correctional orientations of treatment and punishment.
According to the existing literature, support for punishment and support for treatment of inmates are the two major orientations held by correctional workers. There is a small but growing body of studies that has examined the predictors of these orientations. The literature suggests that personal characteristics account for little of the variance in correctional orientations whereas individual-level perceptions of work environment factors are related to correctional orientations; however, the effects of job burnout have not been explored. This study investigates the relationship between burnout and the two correctional orientations. Burnout has three dimensions: emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and ineffectiveness. This study finds that depersonalization is positively related to support for punishment and negatively related to support for treatment. Ineffectiveness leads to a lower support for treatment whereas emotional exhaustion leads to a higher support for treatment. (Published Abstract)