Thesis

115 Contribution of MCD to moral craftsmanship INTRODUCTION Prison staff is confronted with ethically challenging situations in their practice (Schmalleger & Smykla, 2014). Often ethically challenging situations are situations in which there is uncertainty or disagreement about what is the right thing to do. These situations are, and will remain, an inherent part of their professional work. Hence, experiencing ethically challenging situations does not have to be a problem; they can be seen as opportunities to learn, to reflect, to strengthen team cooperation and to improve the moral quality of their work. We know from research that prison staff often struggle with finding a balance between the conflicting obligations of the duty to care for prisoners and the duty to protect others (Bruhn et al., 2010; Shaw et al., 2014). The current focus on incidents and finding solutions can lead to a defensive attitude and lack of moral awareness among prison staff. Furthermore, hierarchy, which is an inherent part of the work practice within prisons, can be an element that prevents staff from taking initiative and responsibility (Van Houwelingen et al., 2015). It is important that professionals recognize ethically challenging situations and learn to deal with them in a constructive and methodologically sound manner (Molewijk et al., 2015). In various morally challenging work contexts, Ethics Support Services (ESS) are used to strengthen professionals’ moral competences and moral awareness, to decrease their moral distress and to improve the multidisciplinary cooperation (Crigger et al., 2017; De Snoo-Trimp et al., 2020; Kälvemark Sporrong et al., 2007). A specific form of ESS is moral case deliberation (MCD). Moral Case Deliberation During an MCD, a group of 8-10 professionals reflect methodically and by means of a dialogue on an ethically challenging situation that has been experienced by one of them (Molewijk, Abma, et al., 2008; Rasoal, 2018; Weidema et al., 2013). MCD can stimulate professionals’ moral competency development (Crigger et al., 2017). Under the guidance of a trained facilitator (Stolper et al., 2015), following a stepwise procedure of a specific conversation method for MCD, professionals jointly reflect on what they perceive as morally right and why, in a specific work-related situation (Molewijk, Verkerk, et al., 2008; Rasoal, 2018). An MCD is an open moral inquiry into how MCD participants can and should think about what is morally right, without the aim of convincing the other (Molewijk, Abma, et al., 2008; Stolper et al., 2016). One of the purposes of MCD is to enable professionals to learn together how to deal with ethically challenging situations and improve the multidisciplinary cooperation and the quality of their work. During MCD, the facilitators do not have an advisory role on the discussed content, instead they 5

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