Thesis

65 Evaluation of MCD sessions INTRODUCTION Many studies show how prison staff experiences high levels of job stress and stressrelated health concerns (Armstrong & Griffin, 2004; Schaufeli & Peeters, 2000). Research on correctional nurses shows how moral distress is present in prison work; something that increases with more years of experience (Lazzari et al., 2020). The prison context itself influences and sometimes even restricts good practices (White et al., 2014). Furthermore, the central aims of prison work can create value conflicts: the need to create a safe and secure environment in prisons and within society on the one hand and the support for prisoners’ rehabilitation at the other hand. Hence, prison staff can be unsure which aim should take precedence in specific situations (Liebling et al., 2011, p. 64). Recent empirical research showed how prison staff at all organizational levels experience a broad range of moral challenges (Schaap et al., 2022), i.e., situations in which they are uncertain or there is disagreement about what is morally right to do. In other contexts, mainly in health care, professionals receive so-called ethics support and training in order to deal better with morally challenging situations (Molewijk et al., 2011, 2022). Recently MCD was also implemented in contexts other than health care, e.g., the Armed Forces (Van Baarle, 2018). Such ‘Ethics Support Services’ (ESS) strive to develop professionals’ moral competences and moral awareness. One of the ESS instruments is Moral Case Deliberation (MCD): a specific kind of support in which a group of professionals jointly reflect on personally experienced morally challenging situation (Widdershoven & Molewijk, 2010). During MCD, facilitators do not have an advisory role regarding the content; they help participants recognize moral components of situations, stimulating moral reasoning and fostering a dialogue (Stolper et al., 2015). A facilitator should create a safe space (Van Baarle, 2018, p. 144) and encourage the development of a dialogical attitude of mutual respect, ask open questions, and postpone judgments (Weidema, 2014). MCD deepens the understanding of what could be morally right in specific cases (Molewijk et al., 2008). Various evaluation studies in health care show positive MCD experiences from professionals (Hem et al., 2015; Rasoal, 2018; Haan et al 2018). In addition, a literature review of MCD in health care shows how participants often mention having an increased insight into moral issues and improved team cooperation (Haan et al., 2018; Hem et al., 2015). While studies show the demanding context of prison work, a systematic review revealed no articles exist on the ‘support and supervision needs of staff working in typical prison 3

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