The introduction of a level system and its effect on prisoner behavior and the management of a prison

by Plummer-Beale, Judith, Ph.D., CAPELLA UNIVERSITY, 2014, 137 pages; 3629294


Prison administrators and scholars are interested in practices that improve prisoner behavior and the daily operations of prison facilities with the ultimate goal of releasing people with pro-social behavior back into the community. Controlling recidivism is critically important to the public safety of our communities and reflects the kinds of rehabilitative work being done inside prison facilities. This qualitative exploratory case study examined the implementation of a Level System at a minimum-security prison. The purpose of this study was to understand if the implementation of a Level System led to more pro-social behavior among the prisoner population and more positive management by prison staff. Information was gathered through interviews with staff and prisoners, observational data and archival data on prisoner misconducts. The findings from this research revealed several themes that included the purpose of prison, prison management, prison programming, collaborative relationships between staff and prisoners, information about what motivates prisoners to do well, views on the Level System and staffs role in helping prisoners behave pro-socially. The findings suggested that the Level System did not directly encourage pro-social behavior, nor did it seem to help staff to manage the prison more positively, in part due to the fact that the level system had not been fully implemented into the practices and culture of the facility. This study adds to the body of literature by bringing the concepts of positive psychology and prison management together. Future research on the impact of collaborative relationships between staff and prisoners is indicated.

AdviserLynn K. Jones
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsBehavioral psychology; Management; Criminology
Publication Number3629294

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