IRB Number


Date of Award

Summer 8-24-2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD)


Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Erin Schwier

Second Advisor

Susan MacDermott

Medical Subject Headings

Occupational Therapy, Occupational Therapists, Workplace, Prisons, Quality of Life, Job Satisfaction, Occupational Stress, Professional Burnout


This study provides insight into the experiences of 7 individuals who had previous first-hand experience working in a correctional setting. Workplace culture related to health and wellness are discussed where participants disclose negative effects the environment posed to their well-being which in turn impacted their job satisfaction. Correctional settings prove not only to be restrictive to inmates, but also to staff members as they limit access to meaningful occupations, roles, and routines. Job demands linked to poor work policies and interaction with inmates are also found to take a toll physically, mentally, and emotionally which further exacerbates symptoms of stress, fatigue, and burnout. As such, the results of this study are found to be consistent with previous literature on correctional staff members. Furthermore, these factors may generalize to other correctional settings where staff members are also likely to be deprived of their health-promoting roles, routines, and occupations. In closing, occupational therapists are uniquely equipped with the necessary skills to examine and enhance workplace wellness in correctional settings, thereby improving overall well-being and quality of life for residents and staff alike.


Capstone project submitted to the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Occupational Therapy.