The influences of personal background on perceptions of juvenile correctional environments

Ojmarrh Mitchell, Doris Layton MacKenzie, Angela R. Gover, Gaylene J. Styve

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


This study examined whether the individual characteristics of race, sex, and education affect juvenile correctional staff's perceptions of their work environments. Prior to 1970, correctional staff were minimally educated and predominantly comprised of White males. Correctional reformers believed that employing more female, minority, and highly educated staff members would lead to more efficacious correctional environments. The existing research conducted in adult correctional facilities not only calls this belief into question, but also indicates that the hiring of nontraditional staff may have exacerbated existing internal hostilities. These research efforts uniformly examined adult correctional institutions, however. This study examined these issues in a large national sample of juvenile correctional staff. Results revealed that individual characteristics of juvenile correctional staff do significantly affect perceptions. Contrary to the prior research in adult facilities, the current study found few, if any, manifestations of either racial or sexual hostility in juvenile correctional facilities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)67-76
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Criminal Justice
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Law


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