Becoming a Prison Officer: An Analysis of the Early Development of Prison Officer Cultures

Katrina Morrison (Lead / Corresponding author), Matthew Maycock

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    13 Citations (Scopus)
    207 Downloads (Pure)


    Despite the fact that over recent years, imprisonment in Scotland has adopted a bold and aspirational policy direction including proposed reforms to the role of the prison officer, there has been little research into prison officers in Scotland, and by extension, the Scottish Prison Service (SPS) as an organisation. This article offers a unique empirical insight into prison officer recruits and evolving prison officer cultures, by longitudinally tracking 31 prison officer recruits over training and early working experience. The article provides an in-depth perspective on prison officer recruits’ views and experiences, and it also makes a contribution to the emerging area of research of the SPS through a focus on organisational change and reform. Finally, it incorporates, and further develops, a body of literature on penality and the penal state by interrogating the tensions between policy and practice within the context of the Scottish penal system.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)3-24
    Number of pages22
    JournalThe Howard Journal of Crime and Justice
    Issue number1
    Early online date11 Oct 2020
    Publication statusPublished - 10 Mar 2021


    • Scotland
    • organisational change
    • prison officer culture
    • prison officers

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Law


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