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Correctional Officer Stress and Suicide

In 2011 a correctional officer in a California maximum-security prison went to work and never returned home: he committed suicide. In a note he left behind, he wrote that his job was the reason he had to take his own life. This is not an isolated incident. The California Prison Union states that between 1999 and 2015 there were 96 confirmed or suspected cases of suicide among current and retired union members (Thompson, 2018). The annual suicide rate for correctional officers in California was more than the average number for the suicides in the state. To add to that, “about 10 percent of prison guards say...

Ethics for the Chaplaincy in Prison Environments

Ethical theories such as Utilitarianism, Kantian Duty-Based Ethics, Virtue Ethics and Deontology can be implemented into prison systems by chaplains. Each theory contains principles that can be applied to the lives of inmates, fellow staff members and even the chaplains themselves. Utilitarianism is an ethical principle that states that it is best to look at the big picture or what is best for the greatest number of people (Holmes, 1994). Under this principle, in an ideal world, every action would maximize the advantages for the largest number of people. An aspect of this theory that is commonly neglected is that it is based on empirical...