Thesis

140 Chapter 6 ABSTRACT We present a study about an ethics support instrument, of Moral Case Deliberation (MCD) sessions, which in this study are used to support and further professionalize Dutch prison staff. MCD can facilitate prison staff in dealing with their moral dilemmas from practice. We present an embedded mixed method study on the experienced outcomes of MCD. Prison staff and MCD facilitators completed evaluation forms (n=871 by staff and n=122 by facilitators) after each single MCD session (n=131) and staff filled out another evaluation form (n=149) after the series of about 10 MCD sessions per team. Our multilevel quantitative analyses show overall positive outcomes, with significant differences between professional disciplines. For example, prison staff reported that they gained understanding of the discussed self-experienced moral dilemma and the related perspectives of colleagues. The qualitative thematic content analysis of the experienced outcomes of single MCD sessions resulted in 8 outcome categories, e.g., improved moral awareness, awareness of responsibilities and limitations in decision-making, and feeling empowered to address issues. After examining the concept of moral learning and seeing an overlap with the outcomes of MCD, we conclude that MCD promotes moral learning of prison staff, since analysis showed that staff gained moral awareness, improved their perspective-taking and were better able to control their frustrations and emotions. Further research should focus on studying the impact of MCD on moral decision-making in the day-to-day practice of prison staff and on what the organization can learn from the MCD sessions.

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