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Staff Perceptions of the Work Environment in Juvenile Group Home Settings: A Study of Social Climate

NCJ Number
Journal of Offender Rehabilitation Volume: 38 Issue: 3 Dated: 2004 Pages: 17-30
Kevin I. Minor; James B. Wells; Brandi Jones
Date Published
14 pages
The Prison Social Climate Survey (PSCS) was used to measure perceptions of the work environment among 107 staff members employed at all 11 juvenile group homes administered by a State department of juvenile justice.
PSCS items measured the employee's perception of structure and lines of authority in the organization, perceptions of supervision, satisfaction with the overall organization (i.e., the State department of juvenile justice), satisfaction with the particular facility at which the employee worked, satisfaction with the job performed, the extent to which personal efficacy was experienced on the job, and the extent to which the job was perceived as stressful. Data were also obtained on each employee's demographics and work history. Consistent with the findings reported by Saylor and Wright (1992) in their study of adult Federal prisons, the findings show that group home staff generally had positive perceptions of their work environments. This was true for each work-environment area measured, except for perceptions of authority and structure, where scores were moderate. Staff with prior experience at privately operated facilities showed significantly more negative perceptions of the authority and structure, supervision, and facility satisfaction measures. Completion of a formal training academy was important for certain dimensions of work-environment satisfaction. Those employees who had completed the work at a training academy displayed greater commitment to the organization and a greater level of satisfaction with their actual work with youth. Female staff members were generally as positive toward their work environments as male staff, with the only exception being the measure of facility satisfaction. Suggestions are offered for future research. 2 tables and 32 references