Thesis

176 Chapter 7 Reflection 2 The particularities of the DCIA context and related challenges when implementing MCD Since this is the first time that research on MCD has been performed in the prison context, I will now focus on some characteristics specific to prison work which made this research and the implementation of MCD different from already existing MCD research. Security, protocols and hierarchy A specific part of prison work is that priority is consistently given to the security aim (Craig, 2004; Dilulio, 1987). Hence, prisons are a ‘highly protocolled environment’ with an ‘overall command culture’ (Paanakker, 2020, pp. 22–23). As stated in Chapter 2, an emphasis on regulations can lead to a focus on ‘compliance strategies’, where organizations tend to examine and enforce rules and establish clear boundaries concerning what is within and outside the norm (Karssing, 2000, pp. 27–30). In Dutch prison practice, incidents often seem to be followed by even more strict protocols, and this dominance of regulations, together with the presence of hierarchical structures, limits the staff’s initiative (Van Houwelingen et al., 2015, pp. 106–107). Paanakker (2020, pp. 151–153) observed that prison staff tends to either ‘follow superiors or policy no matter what’ or ‘just do as they have always done’. However, the answer to how prison staff should act responsibly in their duties is not always found in following protocols, listening to superiors, or just doing what they always did. Liebling et al. (2011, pp. 50–51) stated that prison staff face the difficult task of ‘being loyal to decisions already made; and being flexible and able to change their opinion when circumstances change’. Furthermore, for professionals to act morally and have relevant and fruitful moral reflections, a certain level of freedom of action and reasoning is needed (Karssing, 2000). For a fruitful implementation of MCD a certain level of freedom of action and reasoning is needed as well, otherwise, the reflections would not hold value. The scope of influence of prison staff In our data, I noticed that some prison staff experienced a lack of influence – mostly staff in executive roles – to improve their work environment. In Chapter 2, the formulation of some dilemmas reflected related frustrations and expressions of powerlessness. Prison staff felt restricted in their actions or stated, ‘why am I not being listened to?’ when, e.g., a safety risk was raised. Hence, some participants did not see added value in reflecting upon what would be best practices. Chapter 6 showed a small proportion of participants mentioned a lack of (relevant) outcomes of MCD since they stated: if we cannot translate

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