It’s widely known that jails and prisons can be violent and stressful places to work. But the well-being of corrections officers, while a priority for corrections departments across the country, has rarely been the subject of formal study.
This is a gap that Dr. Amy Lerman at the University of California, Berkeley; the California Correctional Peace Officers Association (CCPOA) union; and the CCPOA Benefit Trust Fund aim to fill.
“We started this project because we want to better understand the impact of the work environment on our members and the research wasn’t there,” said Stephen Walker, director of Governmental Affairs for the CCPOA union.
In 2017, Lerman and her team at Berkeley started surveying corrections officers across the state of California. The first wave of results included a sample of 8,334 corrections officers and other sworn peace officers representing all of the state’s correctional institutions and parole offices; it paints a vivid picture of how exposure to violence and work-related stress impact the health and well-being of officers.
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Council of State Governments Justice Center