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Institutional Violence and Misconduct: Violence Toward Staff

Institutional violence can be directed at a number of targets, including government and personal property, other inmates, staff, and oneself. This entry provides an overview of institutional violence directed toward staff, which is defined as instrumental (proactive) or expressive (reactive) aggression directed at jail, prison, or other correctional personnel. Instrumental violence is aggression performed as a means of achieving some ulterior goal (e.g., manipulation, intimidation, or dominance). Expressive violence is aggression performed in response to a negative emotional state (e.g., anger, fear, or frustration). Staff victims of institutional violence include correctional officers, case managers, administrators, and anyone other than an inmate who is employed in a correctional facility. Physical injuries need not be sustained in order to satisfy this definition of institutional violence.

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