Working as a prison officer is known to be stressful and demanding. This paper aims to assess the personal and work-related perceptions of Sri Lankan prison officers working in close contact with inmates, and it is part of a larger study carried out in 2017. A descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted in 2017 among 1803 ‘ground level’ prison officers across the country, consisting of 1683 prison guards and 120 prison rehabilitation officers. Their perceptions related to personal-life and work-life were assessed using a self-administered questionnaire. Percentages were calculated in the analysis. The majority of the sample were between 25-54 years (85.9%), and male (88%). Out of the participants, 232 (12.9%) felt their family-life was adversely affecting work-life, while 412 (22.9%) thought their work-life was adversely affecting family-life. 102 (5.7%) felt they couldn’t take leave even for an urgent need. While 1369 (75.9%) always had a clear idea about their duty, 338 (18.7%) felt there were no career prospects in the job. 398 (22.1%) felt they were overloaded with work. Around one fourth of the participants felt job insecurity most of the time. Regarding work relationships, 292 (16.2%), 65 (3.6%) and 167 (9.3%) thought their relationship was excellent with colleagues, inmates and superiors, respectively. Around sixty percent were overall satisfied with their job. The perceptions of the ‘ground level’ prison officers reveal that there is space for improvement in the work setting, both at institution and policy level. Future studies should focus on perceptions of other categories of prison officers


Prison officers, work-life, Correctional officers, Rehabilitation officers, Perceptions,


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