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Investigating Juvenile Supervisory Officers' Attitudes At A Texas Juvenile Detention Center

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Investigating Juvenile Supervisory Officers' Attitudes At A Texas Juvenile Detention Center

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Title: Investigating Juvenile Supervisory Officers' Attitudes At A Texas Juvenile Detention Center
Author: Regan, Justin Michael Patrick
Abstract: Punitive and rehabilitative ideologies have traditionally competed to influence correctional policy. The growing emphasis on prisoner rights however, has subtly transformed the mindset of the carceral institution. Juvenile detention officers, the frontline negotiators of these changes in the juvenile justice system, have been the focus of little ethnographical research concerning their ideological orientation or the pressures that shape that outlook. While sociological and criminal justice studies have quantitatively identified a number of individual and organizational factors that affect officers' attitudes, these studies give scant attention to the actual impact of those views on rehabilitative efforts. This paper extends the carceral literature by giving qualitative focus to a particular detention center's culture. The ethnographic approach shows how the interaction between prisoner rights and the need to function has patterned a focus on safety and security that, driven by the locomotion of protecting legal vulnerability while dealing with structural overwork, pushes officers away from punitive or rehabilitative attitudes toward a custodial mode of action.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10106/6160
Date: 2011-10-11

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