Thesis

78 Chapter 3 DISCUSSION This article shows how Dutch prison staff positively evaluated team-based MCD sessions as a form of an ESS. It is the first study with ESS and MCD in the context of prison. MCD urged staff to explore challenging situations in-depth, which shed new light on the existing moral challenges in prison. MCD also helped them to deal better with these moral challenges and fostered more constructive thinking among prison staff. The MCD facilitators received high evaluation scores. Specific aspects related to the steps of the used dilemma method (Appendix 2) were evaluated positively: exchanging various perspectives, brainstorming about alternative actions, and coming to conclusions about concrete actions. The evaluation scores on most items were stable during the MCD series. Prison staff’s active participation and open conversations stood out. Overall, all professional disciplines of prison staff showed positive evaluations of this type of ESS, thereby showing the conversation method of MCD holds value for prison staff. The positive scores seem slightly lower than MCD evaluation studies in health care (e.g., Hem et al., 2018; Janssens et al., 2015). This can be explained by the fact that prison staff is usually less experienced with guided joint moral reflections, both in their professional training and their work. During this study, the Educational Institute organized all practical matters regarding MCD together with the teams and facilitators. In many respects, the active collaboration of all parties made the implementation process run relatively smoothly. However, challenges were seen in organizing and planning sessions in a way that each team(- member) felt acknowledged. In general, a proper implementation process is essential for MCD evaluations (Janssens et al., 2015). In other contexts, implementation often proves challenging, e.g., because of a lack of commitment to MCD by management and other staff (Hem et al., 2015). DCIA provided many needed conditions, such as the finance to implement MCD. However, during this research, some turbulent organizational circumstances were also present, such as the closing of prison locations and high work pressure (FNV Overheid, 2017, 2020). Besides addressing some planning and implementation issues, more attention seems needed for transferring insights from the MCD sessions into actual practice of prison work and for further training of the dialogical skills of prison staff. Dialogical skills showed lower scores than other items.

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