It is possible to state that much attention should be paid to how correctional officers are depicted not only in popular TV series or films but also in news and talk shows, for example. The problem is that journalists, directors, and editors are often inclined to focus on depicting only those cases, accidents, and events when correctional officers behave brutally or violate prisoners’ rights and interests. As a result of the public’s focus only on this aspect of the profession that is supported by providing evidence in news and documentaries, people tend to develop certain biases and stereotypes regarding the profession.
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I can assume that people have developed visions regarding correctional professionals which are based on TV representations, and these perceptions can cause situations when relatives or friends of imprisoned people can blame officers for some problems in correctional facilities. The media representations of these cases support the development of stereotypes. From this point, it is important to pay more attention to developing a positive image of correctional officers who need to be discussed as embodiments of ideas about order and discipline. Unfortunately, some people are inclined to perceive these officers in association with outrage and lawlessness.
These perceptions need to be addressed, and the only effective method to develop new visions of this career is the representation of officers’ achievements in the media. It is important to preserve the balance of depicting both negative and positive aspects of the work in correctional institutions. In spite of the public’s bias regarding this topic, the problem should be viewed from a sociological perspective. Therefore, I am interested in this topic, and I have spent much time while thinking over this issue and observing how prison officers can be depicted in the media while focusing on consequences of these depictions for public’s perceptions.
However, it is also important to pay attention to the fact that the profession of a correctional officer is really tough and full of risks and challenges. Those people who choose this career path are expected to demonstrate skills not only in monitoring prisoners and guaranteeing their safety but also in communication, negotiation, and crisis management. Thus, correctional officers play a significant role in society as people who assist prisoners to adapt to realities of life in prison. As supervisors, correctional officers are expected to help prisoners focus on discipline, follow certain rules, and adhere to legal and ethical norms.
Traditionally, roles of correctional officers are associated only with supervision and control, but it is possible to state that tasks which are performed by these professionals are diverse, and they have the significant social importance. From this point, correctional officers along with psychologists, mentors, and supervisors can help prisoners adapt to the principles of living legally and effectively.
Thus, the problem is only in the perception of correctional officers and their duties. It is possible to assume that these perceptions are provoked by inappropriate images of correctional professionals presented in the media. There are a few depictions of positive, strong, and effective officers who can maintain discipline and order in facilities because such characters are often not interesting to the public. It is possible to agree that the environments of correctional institutions can stimulate aggression and violent behaviors in prisoners and correctional officers, but these cases should be discussed as exceptions from the rule.