Institutional staff encounter juveniles with complex problems (externalizing and internalizing) which calls for adequate formal education/training and professional experience to deliver quality treatment, contributing to an effective organization and increasing public value. The purpose of this paper is to investigate staff's formal education, professional experience and the institutions’ organizational strategies providing knowledge and clinical training to staff.
The study includes staff questionnaires from eight wards (n=102). In addition, 39 in-depth interviews were conducted with management and staff members.
Results show that institutions lack clearly defined target groups, 70 percent of staff members lack college education, 30 percent has never been offered education within the organization, and the vast majority of staff does not feel competent in performing their daily work.
The results from this study shed light on an overlooked area in institutions, detention centers and prison settings, and are important to policy makers and governmental organizations responsible for coercive care of juveniles.
Unlike previous studies, treatment and detention organizations are emphasized as similar to manufacturing industry and profit organizations, and the results are discussed with departure in organizational theory.
The authors are grateful to the Swedish National Board of Institutional Care for providing financial support and to Lars Oscarsson for supervising the project.
Ahonen, L. and Degner, J. (2014), "Working with complex problem behaviors in juvenile institutional care: staff's competence, organizational conditions and public value", International Journal of Prisoner Health, Vol. 10 No. 4, pp. 239-251. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJPH-04-2013-0018
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