This book describes correctional cultures as they really exist and examines the process by which the culture of corrections can be changed. On the basis of my experience in this system, I believe that it is possible. It can be done by creating a healing environment within correctional facilities and agencies.


Accomplishing this will require focusing on correctional workforce development and the use of innovative practices to help people working in correctional settings to communicate with each other and with people under correctional supervision in constructive and compassionate ways. And a transformation in corrections will, over the long run, help to shift our society’s relationship to our system of justice as well as the people working or living within it and beyond it. The ideas and insights in this book arise from my experiences in working with other corrections professionals.


Especially important has been the work I did during my tenure at the National Institute of Justice as director of the Justice Systems Research Division and then at the National Institute of Corrections (NIC) as chief of the Research and Information Services Division. The backbone of this book is based particularly on the work I did at the latter. This included work on organizational culture, which began long before It arrived in 2006, and especially on the Norval Morris Project, which I led during my years there.