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Title: Developing confidence, trust and positive interface : a dialogical approach to understanding the role of prison officers in female and male local prisons
Author: Krlic, Marija
Awarding Body: Staffordshire University
Current Institution: Staffordshire University
Date of Award: 2006
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This study explores the role and experiences of prison officers working in local prisons: with prisoners primarily - but not exclusively - during the first forty- eight hours of custody. It addresses the moral and care aspects of their work and the legislative, risk and organisational frameworks within which they operate. The Field data are drawn from semi-structured interviews with the twenty four officer participants from across five local prisons. A significant feature of this study is posited in its dialogical approach to analysis and discussion of the findings and their relation to existing theoretical knowledge of the emergent and key issues. This approach emphasises the importance of the concept of duality, which significantly contrasts the dualism or dichotomy reflected in traditional approaches to prison studies. The study establishes a concept of dialogical interface: that comprises an embodied or enfleshed and unique encounter - between officer and prisoner - which is grounded in the daily, lived relations occurring within a prison. Both officer and prisoner retain a relational responsibility and right to answerability within each unique encounter, which are not eclipsed by differences: in status, role, power or individual and socio-cultural features such as gender, age or race. It is - cumulatively - through recurring encounters and the repetition of events that the relationships between individuals, the normative climate of the organisation and socio-cultural life are constituted. This research highlights the significance - for prison relations in particular - of moral agency, discretion, discernment, respect, power, confidence, experience, gender relations, practical and emotional care, emotional work, trust and uncertainty. It establishes the importance of the emotional dimension to prison work and the duality of officer experience: as both providers and recipients of care; powerful and powerless; and free to (discretion) and free from (risk and threat). For officers to meet and be met - reasonably and proportionately - with a duty of care, they need to experience - clearly and appropriately - the ability and effectiveness, support and worth necessary if the core features of confidence, trust and positive interface are to determine their credible and meaningful encounters with prisoners.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available