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Discretion among Correctional Officers: The Influence of Urbanization, Age and Race

Discretion among Correctional Officers: The Influence of Urbanization, Age and Race

Abstract

The research on correctional officers has identified a wide variety of orientations which appear relevant to their interaction with inmates. One popular view of correctional officers has rarely been the subject of empirical scrutiny. This paper examines the empirical support for the popular imagery of the veteran, white, rural guard as rigidly custodial and the more progressive young, urban, black officer. Using survey data, no support isfoundfor assumptions concerning differences by extent of urbanization or race. The effects of age are opposite those expected with interest in discretionary human service roles increasing over time.
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