Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

2019

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Abraham S. Fischler College of Education

Advisor

Grace Telesco

Committee Member

Eric See

Committee Member

Kendra Gentry

Abstract

Violent Offenders and Assaults on Staff Members. Dissertation, Nova Southeastern University, Fischler College of Education, School of Criminal Justice Department. Descriptors: Violence, violent offenders, violent inmates, corrections, prisons, assaults, correction officers, staff members.

Prison facilities are an integral part of the criminal justice system. Prisons are meant to provide punishment, deterrence and rehabilitation for inmates that are serving time. Prisons across the country are understaffed due to many reasons. It is important for staff members to be trained on how to keep themselves and inmates safe when they are behind the walls of these facilities. Staff members are in positions of authority and often require inmates to comply to their requests or demands in order to maintain a safe environment. In most situations, inmates that are committing violent infractions have been diagnosed with mental illness. Oftentimes, these inmates are also violent offenders. This study determines whether violent offenders were more likely, during a six-year period in North Carolina adult male facilities, to commit infractions against staff members than their nonviolent counterparts. An in-depth descriptive statistics analysis was conducted. Infraction data was divided into commissions by violent offenders and nonviolent offenders. The results indicated that violent offenders were more likely to commit infractions against staff members during the study period. There were also other independent variables identified as possibly being strong indicators as to whether an inmate would commit and infraction against a staff member, such as race and time incarcerated. The results will be provided to North Carolina Department of Public Safety in order to make recommendations regarding correctional officer training procedures in dealing with violent offenders.

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