Sex and Supervision: Guarding Male and Female Inmates

Synopsis

"As a consequence of the women's movement, women have entered a number of traditionally male-dominated occupations. In the field of criminal justice, women are now employed as police officers for routine patrol and sex-neutral assignment as correctional officers. Sex-neutral assignment raises a host of complex questions because it involves both the assignment of women as guards of male prisoners and men as guards of female prisoners. The two main issues of sex-neutral assignment are the privacy rights of prisoners and the effectiveness of correctional officers supervising prisoners of the opposite sex. Pollock's book explores these questions through structured interviews with 60 correctional officers, 40 percent of them women, who have all had experience supervising prisoners of both sexes. The data report their perceptions of their ability to carry out their jobs. Not surprisingly, Pollock finds that prevailing gender-role stereotypes are an important factor in the prison setting.... Pollock's study is informative and well-written. For upper-division undergraduates and above."- Choice