Increasing Morale: Personal and Work Environment Antecedents of Job Morale among Staff in Juvenile Corrections




Kevin I. Minor, James B. Wells, Eric G. Lambert, Peggy Keller

Criminal Justice and Behavior

November 2014




Job morale is often mentioned in literature on correctional staff, but its antecedents have seldom been investigated. In this study, survey data were collected from 975 facility and community staff working for the Kentucky Department of Juvenile Justice to determine the relationship of personal characteristics (educational level, gender, race, tenure, and age) and workplace variables (input into decision-making, job stress, organizational communication, perceptions of coworkers, workplace cooperation, and public support) with job morale. Type of staff (community or facility) had a non-significant association with job morale. In multivariate analyses controlling for nested data, educational level, race, tenure, age, input into decision-making, organizational fairness, perceptions of coworkers, and workplace cooperation each had a positive relationship with morale, while job stress had a negative association. Workplace variables accounted for far greater variance in the job morale variable than did personal characteristics, which holds implications for efforts to improve correctional staff morale.








Human Services and Justice Coordinating Committee