Corrections Today: Confronting Chronic Career Stress

The importance of staff feeling personally isolated cannot be overemphasized, and this includes the profession itself feeling isolated from the community at large.

Our criminal justice system is in crisis, with staff shortages as high as 40% and unacceptably high rates of heart attack, stroke, diabetes, depression, anxiety, divorce and suicide for those working within the system. This is old news, but the new news is we are not alone. In the September 2023 issue of The Prison Service Journal from the UK, which focused on staff wellbeing, they said their correctional staff is suffering the same consequences and staff shortages as in the U.S., and it is also true for many other countries. Their attempts to correct the existing issues are having the same ineffective systemic results as most of our efforts (Clements, 2023, p. 19). The journal describes three types of interventions: 1. Primary strategies that address the source of stress. 2. Secondary interventions that enhance people’s skills to manage potentially hazardous experiences. 3. Tertiary approaches aimed at those already experiencing difficulties in response to work-related hazards. (p. 22)