A Model of Corrections Officer Workplace Culture: Continuity and Variation

Dr Heather Schoenfeld, Boston University


Recently Dr Schoenfeld published an article in Theoretical Criminology (with Grant Everly) on corrections officer workplace culture (online May 2022). In the paper the authors introduce an organizational culture conceptual framework and build on previous prison scholarship to develop a model of prison officer workplace culture.

They then apply the proposed model to original research in a US prison to investigate the relational aspects of prison officer culture during early 21st-century penal reforms. In writing the paper, two tensions emerged that are central to the project of comparing penality across contexts.

In this talk, Dr. Schoenfeld addresses first, how to determine the appropriate comparison. And second, the normative implications of the decisions to focus on similarities or variation in carceral spaces.