Correctional officers have reported increased incidences of sexual harassment committed against them by their supervisors in the correctional workplace. Correctional supervisors are usually given the responsibility of ensuring that all their subordinate staff members are knowledgeable on matters related to the facilities’ policies, regulations, and procedures. The duties of correctional supervisors include enforcing rules and initiating disciplinary actions against the subordinates as a means of creating a good working environment that fosters employee relations. Sexual harassment perpetrated by correctional officers is a violation of workplace policies and regulations. Such misconduct can affect employee relations and the eventual performance of their duties at the facilities. Female correctional officers are the most vulnerable to this type of harassment. Those managing correctional facilities are often blamed for not preventing such incidences. The state and other correctional facility operators have been incurring huge financial costs as compensation for the victims. For instance, New York City was forced to pay four female correctional officers $600,000 as a settlement for the sexual harassment they experienced from their male superiors at the Rikers Island jail complex operated by the city’s department of corrections (Marzulli, 2013). Increased financial costs in settling sexual harassment lawsuits may interfere with correctional facilities’ operations, considering that most of them are operating under tight budgets after the recent correctional budget cuts by the federal government.
Correctional facilities administrators should review and enforce the correctional facilities’ policies and regulations to eliminate or minimize incidences of sexual harassment perpetrated by correctional supervisors against their subordinates. They should formulate a comprehensive sexual harassment policy to foster good employee relations in the correctional workplace. This will improve discipline and work performance in the correctional workplace, while minimizing the adverse outcomes, such as victim’s resignation or the costly financial settlements in lawsuits associated with such misconducts.
Marzulli, J. (2013, Sep 21). The city pays $600G to 4 female jail guards claiming sexual harassment by superiors. New York Daily News. Web. 19 Mar 2014. Retrieved from: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/city-pays-600g-4-jail-guards-sex-harass-claims-article-1.1463032