Comparison of self-legitimacy of the prison staff and prisoner's perceptions of prison staff legitimacy : doctoral dissertationRok Hacin
, 2018, doctoral dissertation
Abstract: Currently, many discussions are held around the world regarding legitimacy of criminal justice systems. The dual nature of legitimacy in prison consists of prisoner’s perceptions of legitimacy and self-legitimacy of the prison staff. Legitimacy of prison staff is defined as the ability of prison workers to implement their authority in an honest, lawful and just manner, while prisoners acknowledge their status as eligible power-holders who deserve to be obeyed and to comply with their decision. Self-legitimacy of the prison staff is defined as the belief of prison workers that their position in prison and the power entrusted to them is in accordance with fundamental moral norms of the society and a sense of self-confidence, in terms of awareness of their abilities to perform tasks within the prison environment. In this dissertation, answers to two fundamental questions were sought: 1) Which factors influence prisoner’s perceptions of legitimacy of the prison staff in Slovenian prisons? and 2) Which factors influence self-legitimacy of the prison staff in Slovenian prisons? Mixed methods of qualitative and quantitative research were used in order to improve the validity and the reliability of results, which are based on more solid evidence obtained by reducing disparities between the collected data and the findings. Results revealed that prisoner’s perceptions of legitimacy is influenced by: 1) distributive justice, 2) obligation to obey, 3) relations with prisoners, 4) relations with the prison staff, 5) procedural justice, 6) age, 7) effectiveness of the prison staff, 8) the prison regime, and 9) trust in authority. Moreover, prisoner’s perceptions of legitimacy of the prison staff in more liberal regimes was more positive. Results revealed that prison staff’s perceptions of self-legitimacy is influenced by: 1) education, 2) relations with colleagues, 3) relations with prisoners, 4) supervisors’ procedural justice, 5) age, 6) subculture of the prison staff, 7) satisfaction with salary, and 8) audience (prisoners) legitimacy. Contrary to expectations, self-legitimacy of the prison staff has a positive impact on the willingness of prison workers to use force against prisoners. These findings confirmed the theoretical assumption in the dual model of legitimacy of linking the role of relations between prisoners and prison workers in Slovenian prisons, and enabled the formulation of suggestions for improvement of the current situation in the field of legitimacy in Slovenian prisons.
Keywords: legitimacy, prison staff, prisoners, self-legitimacy, Slovenia
Published in DKUM: 14.05.2018; Views: 2004; Downloads: 273
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