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Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Psychiatry | doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2019.00781

Let’s work together - Occupational factors and their correlates to prison climate and inmates’ attitudes towards treatment

  • 1Institut für Forensische Psychiatrie, Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Germany
  • 2Justizvollzugskrankenhaus Berlin, Germany
  • 3Institut für Psychologie, Universität Hildesheim, Germany

The role of psychosocial and structural occupational factors in mental health service provision has broadly been researched. However, less is known about the influence of employees’ occupational factors on inmates in correctional treatment settings that mostly seek to apply a milieu-therapeutic approach. Therefore, the present study investigated the relationships between occupational factors (job satisfaction, self-efficacy and the functionality of the organizational structure) and prison climate, the number of staff members’ sick days as well as inmates’ treatment motivation. Employees (n=76) of three different correctional treatment units in Berlin, Germany, rated several occupational factors as well as prison climate. At the same time, treatment motivation of n=232 inmates was assessed. Results showed that higher ratings of prison climate were associated with higher levels of team climate, job satisfaction and the functionality of the organizational structure, but not with self-efficacy and sick days. There was no significant relationship between occupational factors and the perceived safety on the treatment unit. Inmates’ treatment motivation was correlated with all aggregated occupational factors and with average sick days of staff members. Outcomes of this study strongly emphasize the importance of a positive social climate in correctional treatment units for occupational factors of prison staff but also positive treatment outcomes for inmates. Also, in the light of these results, consequences for daily work routine and organizational structure of prisons have to be discussed.

Keywords: Occupational factors, prison staff, Job Satisfaction, Team climate for innovation, prison climate, sick days, offender treatment, Treatment motivation

Received: 21 Sep 2018; Accepted: 30 Sep 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Sauter, Stasch, Seewald, Hausam and Dahle. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Ms. Julia Sauter, Institut für Forensische Psychiatrie, Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany,