Corrections' Public Relations Dilemma: A Good PR Plan Can Effectively Counter Negative Public Perceptions
Fairchild, Brian, Corrections Today
In the movie "The Shawshank Redemption," the warden of Shawshank Prison embezzles money, kills inmates and destroys evidence that would have set an innocent man free. In "Natural Born Killers," Tommy Lee Jones plays the sadistic warden of Stateville Correctional Center in Illinois who erupts into violence at the slightest provocation. And who can forget the prison officers in "The Fugitive," who completely abandoned their responsibilities at the first sign of danger?
In fact, it's hard to remember a prison movie made in the last decade that didn't portray correctional officers as psychopaths, and the prison system in general as corrupt. Negative, stereotypical images of prisons and those who work in them often seem to condemn the entire industry in the court of public opinion.
It's difficult enough making the tough decisions in corrections without struggling through the negative feelings others may hold for your profession. And to the extent that people have a negative view of corrections, even small misconceptions can delay the evolution of good correctional programming.
As corrections professionals, should we be concerned about this? Does the corrections industry have a public relations problem? And if so, what can we do about it?
We all …
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Publication information: Article title: Corrections' Public Relations Dilemma: A Good PR Plan Can Effectively Counter Negative Public Perceptions. Contributors: Fairchild, Brian - Author. Magazine title: Corrections Today. Volume: 60. Issue: 1 Publication date: February 1998. Page number: 30+. © 2009 American Correctional Association, Inc. COPYRIGHT 1998 Gale Group.
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