Job Satisfaction and Work-Related Stress

Published date01 December 2017
AuthorLeslie A. Leip,Jeanne Stinchcomb,Mara Schiff
Date01 December 2017
Subject MatterArticles
Job Satisfaction and
Work-Related Stress:
Results From a National
Survey of Prison Wardens
Leslie A. Leip
, Jeanne Stinchcomb
, and Mara Schiff
The job of prison warden encompasses numerous external pressures and internal challenges, along
with commensurately high performance expectations, the cumulative impact of which may be
reflected in the job satisfaction and work-related stress of incumbents. Using data gathered from a
national survey of prison wardens, we examine the impact of work-related stress, depersonalization,
and the authority to carry out responsibilities on job satisfaction levels of prison wardens
across the nation.
prison wardens, job satisfaction, work-related stress, depersonalization, job autonomy
Despite being secured behind concrete walls and concertina wire, correctional institutions have
hardly been immune to the influence of social, economic, and political trends that have impacted
free society as well as contributed to shaping the current state of correctional administration
(American Correctional Association, 1983; Johnson, 2002; Keve, 1991; Stinchcomb, 2011). Espe-
cially within recent decades, the leaders of America’s correctional system have been affected by
widespread changes, ranging from court intervention and recessionary cutbacks to diversification of
the correctional workforce. As prison wardens have adapted to the changes generated by greater
judicial oversight, shifting public policies, and managing escalating demands with declining reven-
ues, they have likewise faced such operational challenges as leading a new generation of employees,
engaging external stakeholders, combating negati ve public opinion, and maintaining order in a
volatile environment—while at the same time, delicately balancing their personal and professional
lives in order to cope effectively with work-related stress.
These occupational demands might cumulatively be expected to have influenced the adminis-
trative characteristics of the role of prison warden (Atkin-Plunk & Armstrong, 2013) because
successfully fulfilling the role of a contemporary warden requires functioning in a number of
Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL, USA
Corresponding Author:
Leslie A. Leip, Social Science Building, Florida Atlantic University, Office 201, Boca Raton, FL 33431, USA.
Criminal Justice Review
2017, Vol. 42(4) 400-410
ª2017 Georgia State University
Reprints and permission:
DOI: 10.1177/0734016817699671

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