Thesis

40 Chapter 2 on morally conflicting situations for all professional disciplines within prisons. Empirical research on ethics is hindered by the ‘difficult-to-access prison environment’ (Shaw et al., 2014). Increased knowledge about the moral challenges prison staff encounter can provide insight on how to support staff in dealing with moral dilemmas. This paper provides an overview of moral themes based on the analysis of self-perceived moral dilemmas of prison staff from all professional disciplines, expressed during teambased ‘Moral Case Deliberation’ sessions (MCD). This research is part of a broader research project to evaluate a series of MCD sessions and measure the contribution of MCD sessions to the moral craftsmanship of prison staff. Moral craftsmanship and moral case deliberations In 2017 the Dutch Custodial Institutions Agency (DCIA) initiated a training program for prison staff called ‘craftsmanship’, to further develop their staff. This started based on the need to address changes in the population of prisoners (e.g., more psychological problems in non-specialist institutions) and the requirement of staff to be more concerned with the handling (‘bejegening’) of prisoners in addition to security. Moreover, in the years prior to the training program, in general an increase of incidents is seen and staff experience high work pressure (DCIA, 2016b; FNV Overheid, 2017). Part of the general training program on craftmanship was a focus on moral craftsmanship, to support them in reflecting upon and dealing with morally challenging situations. Moral craftsmanship is described as awareness of moral dilemmas and the ability to be open and constructive about differences in viewpoints (DCIA, 2016a). In this program, MCD sessions are introduced, based on the presupposition that a constructive, non-judgmental dialogue about moral dilemmas is more productive than merely focusing on potential wrongdoing of prison staff. MCD is a specific form of Ethics Support Service (ESS) to help professionals in dealing with moral dilemmas in their practice. MCD originated in health care settings to improve the moral competency of professionals (Molewijk et al., 2008). After years of research and further developing the conversation method, it is now used in non-health-care settings too, e.g., in the Dutch military or in counterterrorism (Kowalski, 2020; Van Baarle, 2018). The MCD conversation method offers a structured and dialogical approach in which professionals reflect upon and exchange views about a personally experienced moral dilemma (Widdershoven & Molewijk, 2010). MCD focuses on fostering the reflection process of professionals (Crigger et al., 2017), guided by a trained MCD facilitator, who has no advisory role regarding the content. A facilitator helps to recognize moral dimensions

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