Educational Attainment, Job Satisfaction, and the Professionalization of Correctional Officers

Nancy Jurik, Gregory J. Halemba, Michael C. Musheno, Bernard V. Boyle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


This article analyzes the impact of an administrative effort to increase the educational attainment of correctional officers employed in a medium security facility department of corrections in a western state. Following an era of riots and judicial intervention, higher educational qualifications have been a major component of attempts to professionalize prison security staff. Three competing expectations regarding the relationship between educational attainment and job satisfaction are evaluated: (1) higher education increases job satisfaction; (2) higher education leads to greater dissatisfaction; and (3) work environment negates the importance of worker educational background. Educational attainment is found to be negatively associated with correctional officer job satisfaction even when other important determinants are held constant.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)106-125
Number of pages20
JournalWork and Occupations
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Sociology and Political Science


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