Thesis

165 General discussion INTRODUCTION This thesis examined the value of Moral Case Deliberation (MCD) for prison staff and the development of their moral craftsmanship at the Dutch Custodial Institutions Agency (DCIA). MCD is a specific kind of Ethics Support Service (ESS). In this study, for the first time, nationally and internationally, MCD was structurally implemented and researched in a prison context. Empirical research on the ethics of prison staff is rare because of the ‘difficult-to-access prison environment’ (Shaw et al., 2014). We were able to research MCD in this context thanks to the DCIA investments in their training program to further develop the craftsmanship of prison staff. This training program was an addition to their standard educational methods, as executed by the DCIA Educational Institute. A part of the new program focused explicitly on developing the moral craftsmanship of prison staff by fostering moral reflections about their daily practice and promoting moral awareness (DCIA, 2016). Based on this purpose, MCD – the dilemma method – was implemented (De Bree & Veening, 2012; Molewijk, Zadelhoff, et al., 2008; Stolper et al., 2016). The MCD sessions and the research described in this thesis were part of the larger craftsmanship program at DCIA. The large number of MCD sessions within this research project gave us the opportunity to study not only the moral dilemmas and evaluation of MCD but also gain new insights into the impact and outcomes of MCD. In this final chapter, I will briefly outline the main findings regarding our research questions, combined with perspectives and critical notes from related literature. Next, I will reflect on some broader themes that emerged from our research, focusing on: a) learning from resistance, b) the particularities of the DCIA context and related challenges when implementing MCD, and c) methodological challenges when researching the impact of MCD. Furthermore, I will describe some implications and recommendations for ethics support for prison staff in general, and more specifically for DCIA and its Educational Institute. Finally, I will indicate possibilities for future research on measuring the impact of MCD, with a strong focus on practice improvements after MCD, and on the relation between MCD and concepts as resistance and empowerment. 7

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