Prison ofﬁcers and gender
This chapter discusses the relevance of gender to the experience, perceptions and effects of prison ofﬁcer work. Some twenty years have passed since the introduction of ‘cross-posting’, and the implications for ofﬁcer relationships with each other and with prisoners are largely unexplored. Studies on gender and prison staff have tended to focus on questions of the relative competence of male and female ofﬁcers rather than how gender shapes the accomplishment and experience of prison work. Apart from privacy concerns for women prisoners, little research has addressed male ofﬁcer work in female prisons. There has been a dependence on surveys and measures of perception rather than qualitative inquiry, such that the role of the institutional environment, or culture, has been missing in the analysis of gender in prison ofﬁcer work.