Women’s Motivations in the Field of Corrections

Subject: Sociology
Pages: 5
Words: 1365
Reading time:
6 min
Study level: PhD

Problem Statement

There can be no possible doubt that the number of women in the field of corrections has increased considerably, and at present, women are taking places that are typically considered to be the job for men, as Elsner (2006) explains. According to the American Society of Criminologists (2011), the increase in the number of women among correction officers can be observed, which is rather unnatural, since the given sphere demands considerable strain and physical strength.

It is obvious that the motifs which women are guided by when choosing a [profession in the field of corrections can be rather versatile, yet it can be suggested that there are several key solid reasons concerning why the number of women choosing the sphere of corrections as their job has increased considerably over the past few years. Once finding the reason for women to get a typically male job and reaching considerable success there, one can figure out whether the given change is a necessity caused by the lack of other positions for women, or a conscious attempt to enter the sphere which is traditionally considered a male one.

Purpose and Significance

The purpose of the given study is to figure out what exactly makes women take the positions in the field of corrections; therefore, the issue of motivation comes to the fore, according to Dewhurst’s theory (2009). Since the given job is considered as rather demanding and physically challenging, as well as emotionally straining, it is rather unexpected that women take the positions traditionally occupied by men. Hence, the purpose of the research is to define the driving force behind the women who join the ranks of correction employees and to find out whether the change of attitudes towards the correction field among women is induced by the increasing impact of feminist moods among women or any other factors.

It is worth mentioning that the significance of the given paper is rather high. Once learning what makes women enter the field of corrections, one can understand in which way the values among women have shifted and realized how far the feminist movement has gone. Revealing the true motives that make women take the leading positions in the sphere of corrections, one can figure out whether the given change signifies women’s independence and equality with men, or merely states the fact that women take the given position for the sake of the high salary.


The selected articles concerning the facts about women in the correction field and the importance of women taking the given positions are outlined below.

  1. Messner, Baumer & King (2011) provided a detailed description of the factors which induce women to take positions in the field of corrections, thus, helping to understand what makes women take the posts which are related to the sphere of crime and punishment.
  2. Flannery (2011) suggested a solid explanation for the fact that more women are engaged in the sphere of corrections, thus, allowing to build one of the first suppositions concerning women’s motivations in the given field. Making it obvious that among the factors which increase the number of women in the sphere of corrections, the psychological ones dominate.
  3. Elsner (2006) made it obvious that the motives behind the rapid increase in the number of female correction officers also owe much to the change of the financial policy of the government and women’s financial stability. Hence, the issue is viewed in the political and economical contexts as well owing to Elsner (2006).
  4. Herzing and Burch (2003) offered an extensive description of the conditions in which female correction officers work, thus, spurring another suggestion concerning the reasons which cause women to work in the given sphere. Taking into account the data provided by the authors, one can possibly suggest that the challenge of the working conditions can also be the cause for women to join the ranks of correction officers.


It is essential to mention that the given research is going to be based on Lambert, Paoline, Hogan & Baker’s ideas and their theory concerning the issues which women encounter in the field of corrections. With the help of Lambert’s Importation Model, numerous aspects of women’s work in the given field can be explained; moreover, solid reasons for women to choose the given sphere and devote their time to the complexities which they encounter in the field of correction can be explained with the help of Lambert’s theory.

In addition, the Work Role-Prisonization Model developed by the researcher can be sued as the starting point for understanding the true motivations which women are guided when choosing the given job. Thus, with the help of the work written by Eric Lambert, Eugene Paoline, Nancy Hogan, and David Baker (2007), one can possibly solve the given issue and find out the motives for women to become correction officers.

Research questions

RQ1 – Qualitative

Therefore, the question of the research is what exactly women in the field of corrections are motivated by and whether the reasons for women to enter the field of corrections are common in certain cases; in addition, it is worth assessing whether the number of women employees in the given sphere has increased over the past few years, and, if so, in which ratio to the previous years and why.

As for the given question, the solution is going to be provided with the help of the methods developed by Kraemer (1991). Considering the given issues from Kraemer’s (1991) perspective, one can obtain precise research results.

RQ 2 – Quantitative

As for the quantitative aspect of the given paper, the research is supposed to provide the statistics on the number of women in the field of corrections over the past few years and a comparison to the data concerning the percentage of women in the field of corrections in the previous decades. Thus, the quantitative research question is how much the number of women taking leading posts in the sphere of corrections has increased, if any increase can be observed, and what the further development of the situation is supposedly going to be like.

It is important to add that the given method is going to be based on the ideas offered by Babbie (1973) and the research methods developed by Joliffe (1986). Thus, the research will offer precise data concerning the issue in question.

To mix the two approaches together and receive a complex method for problem-solving, the approach offered by Creswell (2009) is going to be used. Offering a way to comprise the qualitative and quantitative analyses, the author provides an impeccable research method.

Nature of the study

It is also essential to add that the given research is going to be based on a complex mixed method which can be described as a cross between the experimental model and the practice of random sampling. As Ross and Morrison (2003) assert, the experimental method is the most efficient suggestion for establishing the cause and the effect of a certain phenomenon, which is exactly the case in the given research.

In addition, the research method takes both the dependable and the independent variables into its focus, which allows evaluating the way the two groups correlate and the impact which each has on another. In addition, it is worth mentioning that the method of random sampling, which makes another half of the research methodology, allows providing the most objective assessment since the cases of women all over the world involved in the field of corrections are going to be encompassed.

Possible Types of Sources, Info, and Data

Taking into account the specifics of the research, one can expect that the following sources are going to be the most applicable:

  1. The researches concerning the motives of women entering the realm of correction.
  2. Problem statements are written on the factors inducing the increase of women in the field of corrections.
  3. Interviews with female correction officers, as well as surveys held among the latter to figure out their true motivations.
  4. Researches concerning the changes in the field of corrections over the past few years.
  5. Researches concerning the shift in gender roles and the challenges which women have to face when fighting for their rights in the epoch of feminism.


American Society of Criminologists (2011). The official newsletter of the American Society of Criminologists. Web.

Babbie, E. R. (1973). Survey Research Methods. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Pub. Co.

Creswell, J. W. (2009). Research design: qualitative, quantitative, and mixed-method approaches. London: Sage Publications.

Dewhurst, S. (2009) How to regain your motivation to work. Strategic communication Management, 13/3.4.

Elsner, A. (2006).Gates of Injustice: The crisis in America’s prisons. Washington DC: FT Press.

Flannery, K. (2011). Coping methods of female correction officers. School of Justice Studies. Web.

Herzing, R. & Burch, M. (2003). Challenging the prison industrial complex. Web.

Joliffe, G. (1986). Statistical data analysis. London: Oxford University Press.

Kraemer, K. L. (1991). Survey research and multiple operationism: The URBIS Project Methodology. In the Information Systems Research Challenge: Survey Research Methods – Volume 3, (Kraemer K L Ed.), pp.351- 371, Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.

Lambert, E. G., Paoline, E. A., Hogan., N. L. & Baker, D. N. (2007). Gender similarities and differences in correctional staff work attitudes and perceptions of the work environment. Western Criminology Review, 8(1), 16-31.

Messner, S. E., Baumer, E. P., & King, R. D. (2011). The official newsletter of the American Society of Criminology. Criminologist, 36(5), 1-40.

Ross, S. M., & Morrison, G. E. (2003). Experimental research methods. Web.