Prisoners' willingness to approach prison officers for support: The officers' views
Taylor and Francis
Faculty of Computing, Health and Science
School of Psychology
This is the second of two studies to investigate prisoners' willingness to approach prison officers for support, the first of which surveyed the views of prisoners (Hobbs & Dear, 2000). Data from 111 prison officers surveyed in this study were largely consistent with the results of the previous study. First, both prisoners and officers reported that prisoners would be more likely to approach officers for practical assistance than for emotional support. Second, both prisoners and officers reported the same types of problem as being those that prisoners would most likely discuss with officers. The main difference was that officers rated prisoners as being more likely to approach them for support than prisoners reported themselves as being. The types of problem that both officers and prisoners thought prisoners would be least likely to discuss with officers were, for the most part, the types of problem that officers (1) rated themselves as being least competent in responding to and (2) rated as least appropriate for prisoners to discuss with officers. The consistency between the two studies lends credence to Hobbs and Dear's main conclusion: that prison authorities need to provide prisoners with direct avenues to supportive assistance other than prison officers.