Thesis

51 Moral dilemmas of Dutch prison staff others. Some cases involve situations in which staff criticize colleagues for not showing the conduct necessary to work together more effectively and safely. For example, should you speak up to security guards who are leaving early while prisoners are still being counted? In the subtheme ‘bullying and discrimination’ dilemmas occur between staff and supervisor, and vice versa: ‘Should I stand up for my colleagues when our supervisor lashes out during a team meeting?’. Some interpersonal cases concerned situations of bullying, “black talk” (i.e. speak ill of a person behind their back), or discrimination among teammembers (subtheme VII.c). They wonder, generally afterwards, whether they should have spoken up, and have doubts about the right way to do so. VIII. Mutual coordination Dilemmas within this main theme arise mostly when there is a lack of clarity about cooperation and/or expectations. Within the subtheme of ‘prioritization’ many dilemmas are about the demarcation of duties, but most concern loyalty toward immediate colleagues. Limitations in being able to fulfill the standard of loyalty are mainly present in situations with high work pressure. Should I always give priority to my tasks for the ‘internal crisis assistance team’ over my tasks as a correctional officer? As a result of implicit expectations and delineation of tasks staff doubt the correctness of their decisions. The subtheme of ‘demarcation of tasks’ contains dilemmas related to situations in which it is unclear who is responsible for what task. Most dilemmas occur in exceptional situations, when doubts arise despite a clear division of roles. For example, in a fight between a prisoner and correctional officers; may I as a spiritual counselor, prompted by my loyalty, physically assist my colleagues or do I stick to my role and keep my distance? The subtheme of ‘stand by agreements’ shows cases in which a colleague has made a decision, and one doubts whether to go along with it or hold on to one’s own considerations of what is right. For example, should I go along with a supervisor’s decision on penalty cell placement or do I challenge the decision? Lastly, between colleagues, dilemmas can emerge from ‘correctly informing each other’ to ensure the job is done well. This subtheme involves having knowledge but being unsure whether to share it. On the other hand, a lack of information can also cause dilemmas. For example, medical confidentiality creates doubt if and how personal information about prisoners’ condition, which is needed to perform a job, can be obtained. Or staff doubt how to correctly follow-up on decisions toward prisoners because necessary information was not transferred between shifts. 2

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