Drawing on the accounts of female correctional officers working in Canadian prisons, we explore how gender identity influences the work orientations and social relationships of female officers and their interpretations of working with male and female prisoners. We suggest that female officers tend to pursue correctional work in a way that incorporates traits culturally associated with femininity and that relies on gendered understandings of prisoners’ dispositions and needs. In general, female officers’ accounts suggest that feminine identity operates as both a liability and currency in the context of prison work, albeit for reasons that vary across women and men’s prison.
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The Provincial HSJCC Biennial Conference is the network’s premiere educational event bringing together over 400 professionals and persons with lived experience from across Ontario.