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Review 2 of "Interpersonal interaction between prisoners and officers in prisons: A qualitative meta-synthesis exploring prison officer wellbeing"

...Qualitative...Criminology

Published onNov 02, 2020
Review 2 of "Interpersonal interaction between prisoners and officers in prisons: A qualitative meta-synthesis exploring prison officer wellbeing"

Vote: Publish pending minor changes


[Please explain your vote. If you voted to publish pending minor changes, specify each change, why it is needed, and, possibly, how it should/could be done.]

This manuscript details an important meta-synthesis exploring categories of prison officer’s perceptions of interactions between prisoners and officers. The manuscript is very well written and presents results with a good deal of policy and theoretical importance. There are a few minor changes that I believe would strengthen this manuscript even further:

The literature on “wellbeing” holds highly diverse definitions for “wellbeing.” As this is central to the current study, please define this term. Although this concern may be alleviated once defined, it appears that the focus is more on officer-prisoner interpersonal interactions (see Table 1: Search Terms). If this interpersonal interaction is not central to the authors’ definition of wellbeing, please change the language used throughout to better reflect the methods and results of the study.

In the introduction, the authors limit their discussion to the importance of the topic in Australia. While I suspect that the authors are from Australia, the studies included in the literature review and meta-synthesis are not geographically limited. I would suggest broadening discussion of the importance to an international context.

In Figure 1 (which looks great), the authors have a 0 for “additional records identified through other sources.” It is unclear what “other sources” this is in reference to. Is this in regard to the “reference and citation search?” Please clarify either in the figure or in text.

The categorization process appears to be well done. I am curious as to whether the coding was completed by one or more coders. If more than one, please discuss the process by which agreement was arrived at.

The authors acknowledge that considerations of gender are largely absent in the literature, with one exception examining male officers in female institutions. Please consider also that each of the studies included in the meta-synthesis are focused on male officers. This consideration could be discussed in the current gender portion of the “practical implications” section or in the limitations of the current study.

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