With few exceptions, little attention has been paid to detention officers and their attitudes toward use of force against inmates. A number of studies have focused attention on the punitive, custodial, and rehabilitative attitudes that form an officer's professional orientation and the way in which such attitudes influence the nature of officer/inmate interaction. However, the relationship between professional orientation and attitudes toward use of force remains unexplored. Based on a survey of 617 detention officers working in seven jails, this article uses multivariate analyses to examine the independent effects of individual characteristics, work environment factors, and professional orientation on officers' reported readiness to use force in a county jail. The results indicate that a detention officer's readiness to use force is influenced by some, but not all, types of professional attitudes toward inmates and interactions with inmates.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine