Thesis

191 General discussion CONCLUSIONS The Dutch Custodial Institutions Agency (DCIA) implemented the instrument of Moral Case Deliberation (MCD) – as a type of ethics support service – which was new to the field of prison work. The extensive project with MCD sessions, which was part of the DCIA craftsmanship program, showed that prison staff faced many types of moral dilemmas on a daily basis. Prison staff valued the facilitated collaborative moral reflection on the moral challenges within their work practices during MCD. Our research showed that prison staff gained many in-depth insights. The MCD evaluation scores showed overall positive scores, with no large significant changes over time. Facilitators scored the dialogical quality during MCD more critically than the MCD participants. Our research showed that MCD positively impacts some elements of the moral craftsmanship (MCS) of prison staff, such as finding it easier to deal with morally challenging situations and asking more questions on reasons behind decisions. In addition, prison staff reported a broad range of other valuable outcomes by MCD, such as an experienced increased moral awareness, selfcontrol, and empowerment. Prison staff stated they gained insight into their responsibilities and limitations. MCD helped increase understanding and respect among teammembers. Measuring the impact of the MCD series showed some methodological challenges. It could be worthwhile to further validate our MCS-Questionnaire, and to conduct more empirical research on resistance and empowerment related to the implementation of MCD and on the impact of MCD on work practices after MCD. Strengthening the moral craftsmanship of prison staff requires a continuous learning process. The first steps are taken to create more attention on the further development of moral craftsmanship of the professionals working in prisons. Additional attention is needed for prison staff to be able to better translate insights into actions, thereby influencing and improving their practices. From a hierarchy and rule-based system, MCD fostered the first steps toward a more reflective organization. For a reflective organization to blossom, (conditions for) moral courage to speak up (are) is needed. This implies that staff feel that the organization offers a safe space to address issues. MCD seemed able to provide such a safe space for most teams. However, the processes involved and the ethics support needed for prison staff require a structural organizational commitment. Ultimately, fostering moral craftsmanship of prison staff and implementing ethics support services for prison staff should be seen as long-term processes. We hope our results provide an incentive and guidance to further strive toward fostering moral craftsmanship at DCIA and to continue with the implementation of ESS and MCD for prison staff. Reflection upon and promoting ‘good work’ is not just a research or training project; instead, it belongs to the core of professional conduct. 7

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