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

4 Citations (Scopus)
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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


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