Individual and Environmental Influences on Prison Officer Safety

Benjamin Steiner, John Wooldredge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Prison officers are exposed to violence and other safety risks at rates higher than workers in most occupations are, and indicators of workplace safety have been linked to a number of negative health and occupational outcomes among officers. Yet, few researchers have examined the sources of prison officer safety. Using data collected from over 1,800 officers working in 45 prisons, we apply a multi-level opportunity framework to examine the individual and environmental influences on objective and subjective measures of officer safety. Our analysis revealed that officer safety is affected by officers’ routines (e.g. frequency of contact with inmates) and characteristics that might reflect officers’ suitability as targets (e.g. age, race). We also observed that indicators of both micro- (e.g. coworker support) and macro-level (e.g. architectural design) guardianship influence prison officers’ safety.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)324-349
Number of pages26
JournalJustice Quarterly
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 23 2017


  • prison
  • prison officer
  • victimization
  • violence
  • workplace safety

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Law


Dive into the research topics of 'Individual and Environmental Influences on Prison Officer Safety'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this