Literature Review

Details: Please see attached an unfinished literature review. Limit is 1500 words and I’ve all the articles I want to use.



Burnout of correctional staff – factors impacting stress and coping

Burnout and job stress

Many vocations involve interacting with clients frequently. The staff-client interactions are often centred around the client’s current problems (psychological, social, or physical) and is therefore charged with feelings of anger, embarrassment, fear, or despair. For the person who works continuously with people under such circumstances, the chronic stress can be emotionally draining and lead to burnout. According to Maslach (1978, recited by Griffin, Hogan, Lambert, Tucker-Gail, & Baker, 2010), burnout occurs when workers experience “the gradual loss of caring about the people they work with. Over time, they find that they simply cannot sustain the kind of personal care and commitment required in the encounters that are the essence of their job”.


Among psychological literature, burnout is commonly measured by the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) (Maslach, Jackson, Leiter, & others, 1997) and is defined as a psychological syndrome of emotional exhaustion, depersonalisation, and inefficacy.


  • Emotional exhaustion refers to the feeling of being emotionally drained, fatigued, overextended, and used up from the job.
  • Depersonalization refers to treating others impersonally, callously, and as objects. Employees become detached and cynical.
  • Inefficacy is a feeling of being ineffective in dealing with others at work, including a feeling of not making a positive impact and not being effective in dealing with others. Simply put, it is the feeling of not being competent and successful at work.


This three-factor model received regular reviews and is well supported to provide meaningful and standardised interpretation of burnout studies (Worley, Vassar, Wheeler, & Barnes, 2008). Correctional services, including both custodial and support roles, are considered “people work” and therefore are exposed to risks of burnout. It is important to note that while correctional staff may experience more job-related stressors, not all factors would result in burnout. Burnout is often defined as the protracted consequences of unabated job stress (Dowden & Tellier, 2004), therefore the outcome of MBI should not be considered alone. In the correctional environment where many factors exist to increase overall level of stress, the strategies of coping implanted by the organisation and staff to reduce the risk of burnout must also be observed.


This review article will discuss exploratory findings in relation to the stressors from the correction environment, the roles in corrective services, and the individual / personal factors of the staff. Organisational strategies suggested by current literature will also be discussed, in the light of assisting correctional staff to cope with the identified stressors.


Work environment

The most unique environmental factor in correction facilities is that “clients” are housed against their will, and their interactions with staff are typically involuntary. Unlike other vocation with “people work” where clients usually initiate an interaction, the correctional environment consequently evokes risks associated with emotional exhaustions. The transference of negative affect between inmates and staff could build up feelings of frustration and strain, which could turn into non-compliance and may need to violence. Therefore the most significant risk factor identified is the perceived dangerousness of the work environment. The impact of this stressor was observed to be intricately linked to the attitudes of the surrounding community suggesting cultural differences could heighten or reduce individual’s sensitivity to dangerous situations.




Lambert, Hogan, Dial, Jiang,  and Khondaker (2012)

(Griffin, Hogan, & Lambert, 2012)

Involvement, stress and satisfaction (Griffin et al., 2010)

Supervision and management (E. G. Lambert, Hogan, Barton-Bellessa, & Jiang, 2012)



Role types

(Griffin et al., 2012)

(Matz, Woo, & Kim, 2014)

Personal factors


  • Gender (Carlson, Anson, & Thomas, 2003)(E. G. Lambert, Hogan, & Altheimer, 2010)
  • Age (Griffin et al., 2010)
  • (Stinchcomb & Leip, 2013)

Coping and social support (Cieslak, Korczynska, Strelau, & Kaczmarek, 2008)

Coping and support

Boosting job satisfaction

(Castle, 2008)

and attitudes

(E. Lambert & Paoline, 2010)



  • Work climate
  • Job role clarity
  • Supervision and support





Carlson, J. R., Anson, R. H., & Thomas, G. (2003). Correctional Officer Burnout and Stress: Does Gender Matter? The Prison Journal, 83(3), 277–288.

Castle, T. L. (2008). Satisfied in the Jail?: Exploring the Predictors of Job Satisfaction Among Jail Officers. Criminal Justice Review, 33, 48–63.

Cieslak, R., Korczynska, J., Strelau, J., & Kaczmarek, M. (2008). Burnout predictors among prison officers: The moderating effect of temperamental endurance. Personality and Individual Differences, 45(7), 666–672.

Dowden, C., & Tellier, C. (2004). Predicting work-related stress in correctional officers: A meta-analysis. Journal of Criminal Justice, 32(1), 31–47.

Griffin, M. L., Hogan, N. L., & Lambert, E. G. (2012). Doing “People Work” in the Prison Setting: An Examination of the Job Characteristics Model and Correctional Staff Burnout. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 39(9), 1131–1147.

Griffin, M. L., Hogan, N. L., Lambert, E. G., Tucker-Gail, K. a., & Baker, D. N. (2010). Job Involvement, Job Stress, Job Satisfaction, and Organizational Commitment and the Burnout of Correctional Staff. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 37(2), 239–255.

Lambert, E. G., Hogan, N. L., & Altheimer, I. (2010). An Exploratory Examination of the Consequences of Burnout in Terms of Life Satisfaction, Turnover Intent, and Absenteeism Among Private Correctional Staff. The Prison Journal, 90, 94–114.

Lambert, E. G., Hogan, N. L., Barton-Bellessa, S. M., & Jiang, S. (2012). Examining the Relationship Between Supervisor and Management Trust and Job Burnout Among Correctional Staff. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 39, 938–957.

Lambert, E. G., Hogan, N. L., Dial, K. C., Jiang, S., & Khondaker, M. I. (2012). Is the Job Burning Me Out? An Exploratory Test of the Job Characteristics Model on the Emotional Burnout of Prison Staff. The Prison Journal, 92, 3–23.

Lambert, E., & Paoline, E. a. (2010). Take this job and shove it: An exploratory study of turnover intent among jail staff. Journal of Criminal Justice, 38(2), 139–148.

Maslach, C., Jackson, S. E., Leiter, M. P., & others. (1997). Maslach burnout inventory. Evaluating Stress: A Book of Resources, 3, 191–218.

Matz, A. K., Woo, Y., & Kim, B. (2014). A meta-analysis of the correlates of turnover intent in criminal justice organizations: Does agency type matter? Journal of Criminal Justice, 42(3), 233–243.

Stinchcomb, J. B., & Leip, L. a. (2013). Expanding the Literature on Job Satisfaction in Corrections: A National Study of Jail Employees. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 40(11), 1209–1227.

Worley, J. A., Vassar, M., Wheeler, D. L., & Barnes, L. L. B. (2008). Factor Structure of Scores From the Maslach Burnout Inventory: A Review and Meta-Analysis of 45 Exploratory and Confirmatory Factor-Analytic Studies. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 68(5), 797–823.

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