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Open AccessArticle

Provincial Correctional Service Workers: The Prevalence of Mental Disorders

1
Anxiety and Illness Behaviours Laboratory, Department of Psychology, University of Regina, Regina, SK S4S 0A2, Canada
2
Memorial University of Newfoundland, Saint John’s, NL A1C 5S7, Canada
3
Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB R3E 0W3, Canada
4
Department of Criminal Justice, University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL 32810, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(7), 2203; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17072203 (registering DOI)
Received: 26 February 2020 / Revised: 18 March 2020 / Accepted: 20 March 2020 / Published: 25 March 2020
Correctional service employees in Ontario, Canada (n = 1487) began an online survey available from 2017 to 2018 designed to assess the prevalence and correlates of mental health challenges. Participants who provided data for the current study (n = 1032) included provincial staff working in institutional wellness (e.g., nurses) (n = 71), training (e.g., program officers) (n = 26), governance (e.g., wardens) (n = 82), correctional officers (n = 553), administration (e.g., record keeping) (n = 25), and probation officers (n = 144). Correctional officers, workers in institutional administration and governance positions, and probation officers reported elevated risk for mental disorders, most notably posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and major depressive disorder. Among institutional correctional staff, 61.0% of governance employees, 59.0% of correctional officers, 43.7% of wellness staff, 50.0% of training staff, and 52.0% of administrative staff screened positive for one or more mental disorders. In addition, 63.2% of probation officers screened positive for one or more mental disorders. Women working as correctional officers were more likely to screen positive than men (p < 0.05). Across all correctional occupational categories positive screens for each disorder were: 30.7% for PTSD, 37.0% for major depressive disorder, 30.5% for generalized anxiety disorder, and 58.2% for one or more mental disorders. Participants between ages 40 and 49 years, working in institutional governance, as an institutional correctional officer, or as a probational officer, separated or divorced, were all associated (p < 0.05) with screening positive for one or more mental disorders. The prevalence of mental health challenges for provincial correctional workers appears to be higher than federal correctional workers in Canada and further supports the need for evidence-based mental health solutions. View Full-Text
Keywords: mental disorders; Public Safety Personnel; correctional workers; operational stress injuries; posttraumatic stress disorder mental disorders; Public Safety Personnel; correctional workers; operational stress injuries; posttraumatic stress disorder
MDPI and ACS Style

Carleton, R.N.; Ricciardelli, R.; Taillieu, T.; Mitchell, M.M.; Andres, E.; Afifi, T.O. Provincial Correctional Service Workers: The Prevalence of Mental Disorders. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 2203.

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