Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Martha Copp

Committee Members

Joseph Baker, Melissa Schrift


This study focuses on correctional officers’ values and perceptions of their workplace, the people they work with and for, and members of the general public. Although prior research has investigated correctional staff members’ feelings about their occupation, far fewer studies have implemented a comprehensive qualitative, microsociological approach. The author conducted 20 in-depth interviews with current and former correctional officers (COs) in public-supported facilities. Additional data were collected through two public Facebook pages designated for COs and citizens interested in the criminal justice system. The study offers insights about the significance of COs’ feelings about their work and how the correctional environment affects their lives at work and away from the workplace among the non-incarcerated public. How COs contend with the devalued nature of correctional work and how female COs deal with a male-dominated workplace are primary analytical themes.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.