Leadership and Correctional Reform Paper Team A

Leadership and Correctional Reform Paper



Leadership and Correctional Reform Paper

Correctional reform is a topic of the utmost importance to society in the 21st century. With a system constantly criticized by the public, and overcrowding threatening to bankrupt the corrections system, we must turn to the correctional leaders of today to establish the future. Effective leadership and the tactics they choose to use will always be key in any reform. Leaders must be effective, understanding, and proactive. A Reactive stance will now help a corrections reform. This will lead us to the types of management in corrections, which is successful, which isn’t, and which are the most effective means of reform. The type or style of institute housing the inmates will also help determine what type of managerial style will be the most effective, and what the officers need to prevent burnout, build trust in the leadership, and create a focused and secure workplace. The safety of both the officers and inmates is the most important and finding a way to do both is key.

Identify and explain the qualities and capacities necessary for effective correctional leadership

There are many qualities that are necessary for effective correctional leadership. Over the years there has been a struggle seen when it comes to improving prison conditions with that being said correctional leadership is the key to establishing and maintaining these needed improvements. Leadership is very important in all organizations and many want to invest time in staff who want to define goals as well as achieve them. Many organizations also look for leadership staff who can also solve problems effectively and come to a resolution efficiently. At a minimum, there is a need for leaders who are highly motivated, energetic, humanistic, mature, reflective and innovative (Jacobs & Oltisky, 2012). Leaders also need to be able to motivate and bring the best qualities out in their subordinates as well as inmates. And like many other leaders, they need to have skills in organizational management, Human Resources, budgeting, and public administration. Considering the difficult job at hand it is also very helpful for them to have knowledge of different laws and the maintenance and infrastructure of the building of operation. Lastly, correctional leaders have to deal with complicated external environments such as legislators, courts and media. Because of all these different qualities and factors need to run a correctional facility it also takes a wise leader that the prison cannot effectively run or managed with just one single person. Leadership also needs to realize that they need to inspire and recruit subordinates to reinforce the ideas and visions set out by wardens or organization leaders.

Evaluate which managerial style would best fit each type of correctional facility

When it comes to figuring out which managerial style would work best for a correctional facility, the warden would be the one making the final decision on how it should operate. The warden must know and understand what type of correctional facility they are running. If a warden comes into the facility and begins to make drastic changes, that warden can receive a lot of backlash from the staff and inmates (Williams, 2011). Instead, a warden should consider the culture of the facility and if necessary, make the appropriate changes to the culture. There are five managerial styles which could best fit a correctional facility. The five styles are the following: impoverished, authority-obedience, country club management, organization-type management, and team management.

In a minimum-security prison, the best managerial style would be the county club management. The country club management style is where the supervisor pays attention to the needs of its subordinates, which results in a friendly comfortable work environment (Cornelius, 2017). The downside to this style is that other staff members will begin to think there is favoritism. A medium security prison managerial style would best use the team management style. The team management style can be very effective. This supervisor values staff and morale. Additionally, high morale can lead to a commitment by everyone to do the job correctly and give the proverbial “110 percent.” (Cornelius, 2017). This style allows correctional officers to shine, and they will feel that they are trusted to run their unit. Because of this, the correctional officers will begin to depend on and trust each other. A maximum-security prison would best benefit from the organization-type management. This style balances the need to get the job done and to maintain staff morale which is important. The chain of command is crucial to this type of style. In a Supermax prison, the authoritarian security is the manager who strictly controls the squad i.e. giving out orders with little or no room for discretion. He or she has no real concern for others’ feelings, input or problems, and adopts the “my way or the highway” approach. They do not like questions. This form of managerial style would work best since Supermax prisons house the most dangerous criminals and security has to be tight in the facility.

Identify and define key course offerings that would prepare a corrections officer for successful leadership in corrections

When it comes to being a corrections officer, there are many situations that a person can be put in with offenders which means there are a lot of different training and scenarios a corrections officer will need to be prepared for. At the local and state levels, a corrections officer may not need to be as prepared for situations as in-depth as what a corrections officer on a federal level may need. An inmate is an inmate for a reason and as a corrections officer, one should never let their “guard” down due to unforeseen/future problems that could occur.

A corrections officer at the local and state level will need self-defense classes, firearm training, training within the facility and training on if an inmate escapes and contraband courses. They need to be informed and be aware of anything that could happen, whether it happens a lot or not. When an inmate has contraband, whether it be pictures, drugs, weapons or simply something they are not supposed to have, this could result in a major issue if not resolved in the correct way. Corrections officers at a federal level will need more in-depth training in all these areas due to the inmates’ crimes being more serious, which means that are capable of knowing and doing more harmful/serious crimes in prison as well.


The qualities and capacities necessary for effective correctional leadership were considered such as being highly motivated, energetic, humanistic, mature, reflective and innovative. Managerial style for each style of prison was discussed, detailing which style of leadership may be most effective for each type of prison or jail. Finally, key courses that should be available and taken by corrections officers to further their career and leadership within corrections.


Cornelius, G. (2017, August 25). 5 supervisory styles you find in correctional facilities. Retrieved from https://www.correctionsone.com/corrections-training/articles/413889187-5-supervisory-styles-you-find-in-correctional-facilities/

Jacobs, J.B., & Olitsky, E.(2012,May). The importance of correctional leadership. Correctionsone.com. Retrieved from http://Correctionsone.com/jail-management/articles/5582170-The-importance-of-correctional-leadership

Williams, E. (2011, March 17). Prison management styles. Retrieved from https://www.correctionsone.com/jail-management/articles/3440029-Prison-management-styles/