Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2011, $383,641)
The National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago will address assaults against correctional officers and the corresponding absence of research on the use of body armor by correctional officers. This study will help correctional officers by identifying key barriers to the use of armor and developing approaches to overcome those barriers. The projects first objective is to conduct a nationally representative survey of corrections officers to understand the context of using armor in correctional settings and establish a prioritized list of factors affecting the use of armor. The second objective is to use the survey results to work with a panel of correctional experts in focus groups to develop recommendations on steps that can be taken to improve the likelihood that armor will be available and worn in appropriate circumstances. NORC will use a two-staged clustered sampling approach for the survey. The first stage will draw a stratified nationally representative sample of 130 correctional agencies. The sample will be drawn from a census directory of all state and federal prisons. The second stage will draw cross-sectional random samples of correctional officers of all ranks from each of the130 facilities. The target in Stage 2 is to have a representative sample of 1,089 correctional officers from across the nations state and federal prisons. The results of the project will inform corrections as well as law enforcement officers decision-making processes regarding use of armor and improve overall officer and public safety.
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