Learning in and for work in correctional services in Norway
Keywords:prisons, correctional services, prison officer students, prison officer education, prison work, fengsler, fengselsutdannelse
The study explored the views of prison officer students and their supervisors regarding (1) prison officer education, (2) prison officers’ continuing professional development, (3) prison officers’ training needs and opportunities, and (4) the future of prison work. A total of ten interviews were conducted in a prison in Norway in October 2021.
The prison officer students who were interviewed expressed satisfaction with their education. Communication was highlighted as the most relevant learning topic. Regarding the continuing professional development of prison officers, learning about communication and mental health issues were expressed as areas of particular significance. Learning about services for female prisoners was also brought up. The issues that impede prison officers’ participation in training were the limited time to arrange training and the lack of financial resources.
The importance of collaborating and learning together with mental health professionals was expressed, but borrowing learning resources from the neighbouring disciplines was considered to be problematic because of the specific character of prison work.
The future of prison work was discussed from different viewpoints. The numbers of aggressive prisoners, old prisoners and those with mental health issues were expected to increase. The need to continue the development of prisons and concerns over the future role of prison officer were also expressed. The report provided five suggestions for future research concerning correctional services.
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