Post-Traumatic Stress and Suicide in Corrections: How PA DOC is Addressing the Issue [2017-08-07]

On a daily basis, corrections officers interact with inmates, many of whom have committed heinous acts that led to their incarceration. Inside prison walls, inmates remain dangerous and unpredictable. Officers must constantly be alert and their lives may depend on how they respond to a situation.

To work in corrections, a key personality trait is the ability to react professionally to any situation while suppressing emotional response. Corrections staff must be able to put their feelings aside in order to maintain order.

However, doing so means that officers rarely have the opportunity to react to and cope with a situation in a healthy way. These situations often compound, leaving officers with no opportunity to recover from them. This can lead to isolation, depression, post-traumatic stress (PTS), and even suicide.

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Natasha Amaral, In Public Safety, August 7, 2017