Scenario You have received a position that requires  you to oversee a group of 30 correctional officers. This job will be  challenging, because these officers are noted for holding negative, and  some

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Scenario


You have received a position that requires  you to oversee a group of 30 correctional officers. This job will be  challenging, because these officers are noted for holding negative, and  sometimes even hostile, attitudes toward the institution’s leadership,  as well as the prisoners they oversee.


Your job is to try to create a better  rapport between the officers and prisoners in an attempt to ensure  better behavior from the prisoners as a whole. The facility is designed  to hold 1,200 male inmates, but it currently houses 1,376. Most are  classified as medium security, though there is a minimum-security  dormitory that is used to reward good behavior. You have been assigned  to oversee one of the three minimum-security units. It houses 345  inmates in a space designed to hold 275. All indoor recreation areas  have been converted into makeshift dormitories, and portable toilets  have recently been installed in the only accessible exercise yard.

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The prison that you have been assigned to  has also received many complaints of abuse from prisoners, and you are  directed to correct this problem with the officers. These complaints  range from relatively minor issues, such as failure to distribute mail  in a timely manner, to serious violations, including deliberate denial  of access to daily meals. The unit is currently down six officers, which  has disrupted shift schedules, and the administration recently  increased mandatory overtime and announced suspension of all vacation  and personal leave until further notice. The CO shortage has also made  it difficult to move inmates for meals, medical care, visitation, and  classes. Officers have also complained that they are not getting breaks  and that they do not have the opportunity to eat, go to the bathroom, or  sit down, sometimes for an entire 12-hour shift.


  • What challenges do you foresee in overseeing the correctional  officers? Why? How can you apply the principles of the path-goal theory  to ensure the success of the task entrusted to you?

  • How will you use supportive and directive leadership to motivate the correctional officers assigned to you?

  • Can you apply the situational leadership theory to improve the  relationship with your officers? If yes, how? If not, then why? Can  situational leadership be applied to the inmates?

  • How can participative and achievement-oriented leadership motivate these officers? Can it be used to motivate the inmates?

  • What are the situational variables that might affect the application of the path-goal theory of leadership?

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