Thesis

55 Moral dilemmas of Dutch prison staff Reflective organization and dialogical ethics We noticed how prison staff have a sense of ‘powerlessness’ and/or feel restricted in their ‘freedom of action’. However, fruitful moral reflections, and mastering moral craftsmanship require a sense of being able to influence or impact the work environment. If MCD participants experience cynicism about their influence and/or the impact of MCD, it becomes even more important to try to translate moral reflections and decisions from MCD sessions into actions or improvements in practice. Feelings of cynicism and powerlessness, which some of the staff members experienced, might hinder a ‘moral craftsman’ to blossom. A strong focus on ‘rule-based behavior’ or ‘compliance strategies’ can make it harder when one aims to work toward a more reflective organization in which staff need discretionary space to develop their moral craftsmanship (Karssing, 2000). Present influences of hierarchy and the many rules and procedures can prevent staff initiatives in the DCIA organization (Van Houwelingen et al., 2015). To develop moral craftsmanship, it is necessary that prison staff are able to engage in joint dialogues and reflections, in teams but also in the entire organization. To build trust in this dialogue and joint reflection, prison staff need to experience impact of their participation, during and after the dialogue. Dialogical ethics is an approach that stresses the need for deliberation and dialogue as a way to come to joint interpretation of situations and joint improvement of these situations (Widdershoven et al., 2009). During a moral dialogue, both individual professionals and the team as a whole can learn from one situation for future occasions. A dialogical ethics approach to both the handling of moral dilemmas and the implementation of ESS, such as MCD, can contribute to a safe learning environment for all prison staff, which in turn can strengthen the reflectivity of and within the organization (Weidema et al., 2016). STRENGTHS & LIMITATIONS Most literature about ethics of prison staff focuses on incidents and/or scandals as seen from the outside (e.g., by researchers or managers). This study is unique as it is based on 154 self-perceived and personally experienced moral dilemmas of multidisciplinary prison staff throughout all organizational levels. With the aim of working on improvement of their moral craftsmanship, prison staff were invited to express their daily doubts inMCD sessions. To gain insight into the content of moral dilemmas from prison staff we first presented an overview of themes. In addition, we showed where in the organization such topics occur and how observations of the formulation and context of dilemmas can lead to new insights. 2

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