Transition processes and professional roles within the Italian penitentiary system

Emanuela Saita, Monica Accordini, Letizia De Luca, Martina Tramontano

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaContributo a convegno


The profound change the Italian penitentiary system is currently undergoing seems to be particularly relevant for psychological sciences as it affects aspects like systems of belonging, roles as well as the professional identity of the professionals who work in prison. Scientific literature shows that the representation of one’s job and role are shaped on the basis of the local organizational culture (Hotho, 2008) and, in particular, of the shared scripts used to face problems. The construct of organizational change well describes the present condition of the penitentiary system: prisons, in fact, involve a variety of professional figures, each with their own culture and set of values and the undergoing changing processes urge these professionals non only to revise some aspects connected to their specific tasks but also to redefine their role and professional identity, thus inevitably putting them through a certain degree of psychological distress. Through the analysis of some focus groups (Krueger, 1994), the present study explores the representations regarding the undergoing transformative processes as perceived by 120 penitentiary operators (officials, prison officers, and teachers) working in different regions in Italy. The focus groups transcripts, analyzed throughout the software T-LAB (Lancia, 2004), show the presence of some common themes both across the various regions in Italy as well as within the professionals involved. In particular, professionals feel the need for change in order to deal with obstacles like bureaucratization, a rigid separation of roles and a defensive attitude towards convicts, legacies of an outdated penitentiary system that they are determined to modify to achieve wellbeing and integration.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)75-76
Numero di pagine2
RivistaMediterranean Journal of Clinical Psychology
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2015
EventoXVII Congresso nazionale AIP, Associazione Italiana di Psicologia - Milazzo
Durata: 25 set 201527 set 2015


  • organizational change
  • penitentiary setting
  • prisons
  • professional identity


Entra nei temi di ricerca di 'Transition processes and professional roles within the Italian penitentiary system'. Insieme formano una fingerprint unica.

Cita questo