Prison Leadership: The Relationship Between Warden Leadership Style and Correctional Officer Job Satisfaction

TR Number



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Piedmont International University


The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between Tennessee wardens’ leadership practices and correctional officer job satisfaction. Utilizing the Leadership Practices Inventory (LPI), the relationship between correctional officers’ perception of the warden’s leadership practices and the LPI norms were examined. Additionally, utilizing the LPI, the relationship between self-ratings of the warden’s leadership practices and the observer rating of the LPI were assessed. Lastly, utilizing the Job Satisfaction Survey (JSS) and observer LPI, correlations were examined between the correctional officers’ job satisfaction and their perception of the warden’s leadership practices. Findings of this study showed lower correctional officers ratings of the wardens on the five LPI subscales than the inventory’s norms. In a comparison of the LPI wardens’ self-perception and the correctional officers’ observer perception, correctional officers rated the wardens lower than the wardens rated themselves. The overall ratings of the correctional officer Job Satisfaction Survey (JSS)were neutral. However, of the nine JSS subscales, the results identified the nature of their work and supervision as the most positive. Pay, contingent reward, and promotional opportunities were rated as the primary reasons for job dissatisfaction. Additional findings indicated a positive relationship between job satisfaction and each of the five subscales of the LPI.



Prisons, Staff Retention, Leadership, Leadership Practices Inventory, Job Satisfaction Survey, Correctional Officers, Wardens, Turnover, Corrections