Death Row Correctional Officers : Experiences, Perspectives, and Attitudes
Kelly L. Brown and Melissa Benningfield Criminal Justice Review 2008 33: 524 originally published online 3 September 2008
“Living death” as death row is called by some is a horrific experience for not only the inmates, but also the correctional officers who work in the death row unit. The feeling of hopelessness and powerlessness is sometimes transferred to the correctional officers. This study will look at how death row affects the correctional officers that work in the unit. According to Brown and Benningfield (2008) “Correctional officers who are assigned to ...view middle of the document...
52.7% of the officers stated they preferred to work on death row. Consequently, 32.4% officers answered if they were able to select where they wanted to work, they would work on death row. According to Gaines and Payne (Death Penalty Information Center, 2008) “Just more than 92% stated that the experience of supervising offenders who have been sentenced to death did not change their views or opinions about the death penalty (530).” There were several topics brought forward in this study. They include, death row is dissimilar than anywhere else in the prison and is tightly regulated; officers on death row must be highly concerned about safety and must do it right all the time, because of the criminals’ on death row; there is less to do on death row, but there is much anxiety and pressure for officers that work this unit; and the worries that the officers have when working on death row, do not come from any real or traumatic things that happened on death row, but the worries come from the criminals and what cruelty they can perpetrate.
The consensus of the correctional officers that work on death row was that working on this unit was not like the other units. They described death row as...