Leadership in a Correctional Facility
Correctional facility is home to a vast majority of law offenders. This facility holds offenders who have been convicted of various federal crimes. The population of criminals continues to increase after each and every dawn. The federal bureau of prison currently houses approximately 175,000 inmates. 150,000 of these inmates are confined in bureau operated correctional facilities whereas the rest of the inmates are held in state, local, and private institutions (..). With the endless increase in the number of prisoners, many correctional facilities continue to face the challenge of properly housing and managing the overcrowded population of prisoners (Bosworth, 2005). Overcrowding is a matter of great concern as it is likely to result to chaos, violence, spread of diseases, and hostile environment (Bosworth, 2005). This has made it extremely difficult for prison officers to manage the high population of prisoners. Good leadership is thereby regarded as an integral factor that culminates to proper management of the correctional facility. In a bid to promote good leadership, prison officers are today being given the opportunity to serve as leaders in the correctional facilities. They are however required to undergo vigorous training using the formalized managerial training programs. Correctional officers are trained to oversee and manage the subordinates with an aim of ensuring that every activity is run smoothly.
My Responsibility as a Senior Correctional Officer
In the prison institution, I serve as one of the senior correctional officer. Through my leadership and managerial experience, I embraced two key leadership styles namely; democratic and transformative (Gray & Stockbridge, 2004). I am tasked with the responsibility of supervising and overseeing work performed by correctional officers. I also perform administrative roles where I regularly monitor the inmates. This allows me to identify the challenges that they face whilst living in prison. Aside from this, I actively participate in the preparation of managerial training programs, creation of annual budgets, coordination of meetings, and development of work schedules.
My Leadership Experience as a Correctional Officer
As a senior correctional officer, I deal with solving immediate problems occurring within the prison facility. I am also tasked with the responsibility of identifying the facility’s needs and employees’ professional needs. I closely work with correctional officers to ensure that they maintain peace and order within the facility. This has given me an opportunity to utilize my leadership skills with an aim of influencing productivity and subordinate’s satisfaction.
One of the instances where I utilized democratic leadership style was when I actively played a key role in developing a need-based survey that was later filled in by correctional offices as well as a few prisoners who represented the entire population of prisoners within the facility. I with the help of my superiors developed a need-based survey to identify and provide solutions to the problem that threated to negatively affect the employees, prisoners, and the public at large. The results from the survey were later used to create an appropriate in-service training program that was purposed to equip the correctional officers with the right skills and knowledge for addressing the challenges identified from the survey. This process allowed me to collaborate with correctional officers who freely conveyed their grievances and challenges that they are exposed to while working. Aside from using surveys and questionnaires, I also arranged a face-to-face feedback session with my coworkers and subordinates who aired their suggestions on addressing some of the challenges and initiating appropriate changes.
How I and my Manager influence our Coworkers and Subordinates.
My primary role as a senior correctional officer is to ensure that peace and organization is upheld in the prison facility. In most cases, I share decision making responsibility with my fellow managers and correctional officers. This form of inclusivity allows my coworkers and subordinates to actively participate in addressing and resolving problems. All employees are also made aware on any changes that might affect their work and daily operations. I also encourage and mentor correctional officers on how to best undertake their responsibilities. Providing work performance assessment and feedbacks to correctional officers has allowed me to build trust and good communication between I and the officers.
Bureaucratic, Transformative, and Democratic Leadership Styles
My manager’s leadership style is bureaucratic as he strictly adheres to the institution’s rules, regulations, policies and stipulated procedures when making any decision. He supervises his subordinates as he leads by the book. He also encourages his subordinates to strictly adhere to a set of operational rules that would guide the employees and prisoners on how to conduct themselves (Gray & Stockbridge, 2004). This leadership approach is appropriate in the prison facility as most of the operations are routine and unchanging. The employees are required to strictly follow safety rules and guidelines so as to protect the employees, prisoners, and the public from any harm. Some of the rules provide guidelines on different aspects such as visitation, phone calls, and general conduct. However, this form of leadership does not encourage creativity and innovation thereby creating an uninspired work environment.
On the other hand, I utilize both democratic and transformative leadership styles in managing and guiding staff nurses. Using the two leadership styles has enabled me to empower, engage, and motivate the correctional officers (Gray & Stockbridge, 2004). Democratic leadership style has enabled me to develop great relations with prison officers who freely convey their suggestions, opinions, grievances, and satisfaction. Allowing my subordinates to participate in making crucial decisions has given them morale and a great sense of belonging. Participative leadership style has assisted me to not only build trust but also motivate the employees to improve their work performance (Gray & Stockbridge, 2004). However, this form of leadership is usually time-consuming. This leadership style may not be a viable option of leadership in cases where urgent decisions need to be made.
Bosworth, M. (January 01, 2005). Encyclopedia of prisons & correctional facilities.
Gray, D., & Stockbridge, D. (2004). BTEC national public services (uniformed). Oxford: Heinemann Educational.