Explaining Perceptions of Administrative Support Among Prison Treatment Staff


This paper explores how perceptions of administrative support among 83 treatment staff working in a midwest prison system vary according to personal and work-related variables. It extends on previous literature by: (1) analyzing how perceptions of administrative support vary exclusively among prison treatment staff; (2) focusing on a single type of manager, the deputy warden overseeing treatment services, to avoid aggregation problems; and (3) adding new predictor variables to the study of perceptions of prison managers, such as education, danger, paperwork, and caseload. Ordinary least squares (OLS) regression was utilized to analyze an eight-item scale measuring overall perceptions of administrative support among treatment staff. In addition, each of the eight items was analyzed separately using backward logistic regression. Our results indicate that demographic variables, particularly age and education, were better overall predictors of administrative support than work-related variables. Furthermore, the disaggregated analyses of the eight items suggest that different explanatory models are necessary for different dimensions of management support. This paper concludes with ideas for developing a theory on prison management/treatment staff relations and an outline to guide future research.


Criminology and Criminal Justice

Document Type





prison management, treatment staff, corrections, deputy warden, rehabilitation

Publication Date


Journal Title

Journal of Offender Rehabilitation