Working Paper Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Reactions of Prison Staff to the Needs of Culturally Different Convicts

Version 1 : Received: 22 October 2020 / Approved: 26 October 2020 / Online: 26 October 2020 (08:45:11 CET)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Urbanek, A. Reactions of Prison Staff to the Needs of Culturally Different Convicts. Soc. Sci. 2021, 10, 1. Urbanek, A. Reactions of Prison Staff to the Needs of Culturally Different Convicts. Soc. Sci. 2021, 10, 1.


The article presents the trends in penitentiary work with convicts of different cultures, focuses on their activation, individualisation of work, and organizational difficulties. The purpose of the research has been to discover the ways in which prison staff react to situations requiring flexibility justified by cultural differences of the inmates. The research questions have included: How does prison staff respond to the needs of culturally different inmates? How do the respondents’ reactions correlate with professional experience? Based on the literature, a hypothesis has been established that prison staff avoids individualized treatment of convicted foreigners. Despite the perceived differences in culture, religion, and their different mentality, prison procedures aim at uniformity. Tendencies towards resistance and stiffness to the needs of culturally different people become prevailing. The research method used has included a diagnostic survey (n = 232, F: 40, M: 192) conducted in prison officers in Poland. The written interview technique has been used, where the respondents has reacted to 3 situations of convicts, reflecting their national, religious, and cultural distinctiveness. In their responses, the respondents have decided on the way of action in the situation, as well as their motivation. The operationalization of the source material has been performed in two ways. There has been applied the content analysis method according to the grounded theory (B.G. Glaser, A.L. Strauss), resulting in the creation of categories marking actions and motives. A multiple correspondence analysis (MCA) of the built categories has been carried out using the Statistica program, as well as the correlation analysis of variables with the Cramer's V coefficient. The results of the analysis show statistically created, indicated manners of reacting that have occurred in the studied sample. Additionally, they point out an independent variable - seniority, which has correlated with the quality of the response.


foreign national prisoners; prison activities; multiculturalism; prison staff decision; motivation


Business, Economics and Management, Accounting and Taxation

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