Working In The Criminal Justice System

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Working in the Criminal Justice System

Working in the Criminal Justice System

Considerable strain has been placed on correctional staff in recent decades as prisons have become increasingly overcrowded. Between 1988 and 2000, the number of state prisoners rose 114.5%, and the rate of mental health service use (i.e., counseling and therapy) increased by 153.2%(Rivas-Vasquez 2001 101-104). The authors noted, however, that there was a net loss in the proportion of facilities that provide mental health treatment during this period, meaning that prisons fell even further behind in meeting service needs. Psychologists working within correctional facilities already face a variety of demands and expectations not typically encountered by psychologists working in more traditional settings.

Working In Probation

A probation officer may be exposed to dangerous working conditions. The earnings and the retirement are generous. A career in probation requires a certain amount of training and education, and the stress implemented on a probation officer has many factors. A probation officer may be exposed to dangerous working conditions. An article in the journal of Corrections Today tells a story of a probation officer's life in danger. The probation officer was combing the "hot spots" for criminal activity at night. While trying to find some of his client's areas of drug use, he was shot by two drug abusers. At this point, probation officers may carry a firearm for protection. Probation officers may also be exposed to other areas of danger, for they may work with dangerous offenders on a daily basis. They usually interact with many other individuals, such as family members and friends of their clients, who may be angry, upset, or difficult to work with(Klassen O'Connor 1988 pp. 305-12). Probation officers also place themselves in danger while drug testing the offender that may cause diseases. Working in dangerous situations may cause stress on the probation officer.

A probation officer's occupation is very demanding, and requires a high amount of education as well as training. It requires time and patience on the probation officers part. It can be dangerous, yet it can be rewarding. The pay is beneficial and the retirement comes early in life compared to most jobs. The stress implemented on the probation officer is extreme. The many factors that contribute to the stress on the probation officer require him to be tolerant of many situations. The profession supports the offender as well as the community. It helps to maintain safety in the community in addition to the client's welfare.

Working in Prison

The physical plant of many prisons, especially older ones, is not designed to accommodate therapeutic work. Overcrowding creates stress that can exacerbate offenders' needs for psychological services and can result in increased job stress among correctional personnel. In rural settings, there may be only one psychologist for an institution, and sometimes one psychologist is responsible for the mental health needs of inmates in two or three different institutions. These stressors may present a significant threat to job satisfaction in correctional psychologists.  Two other general facets emerged as important to satisfaction(Lorenz 1966): perceived organisational support and ...
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