Date of Submission

Spring 4-16-2019

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in International Conflict Management (Ph.D. INCM)


Conflict Management

Committee Chair/First Advisor

Dr. Christopher Pallas

Committee Member

Dr. Sherrill Hayes

Committee Member

Dr. David Jenks


This research examined the effectiveness of cultural diversity training in state basic correctional officer training programs. In recent years, the demographics of the U.S. prison population has become much more culturally diverse. This shift is noted by recent academic literature from scholars who have experience working in correctional settings. The growing diversity of the inmate population puts a new emphasis on the importance of cultural diversity in correctional officer basic training programs. This exploratory study uses original data collected from a survey of correctional officers and a sample of state correctional officer basic training programs in a cross-sectional design to investigate if the level of cultural training offered is meeting the needs of correctional officers. Findings from this data suggest that there is a disparity in basic training programs between use of force topics and topics related to cultural diversity. Also, responses indicate that cultural diversity and communication skills are utilized more frequently than use of force training. Moreover, officers indicate that they believed more cultural training should be included in correctional officer basic training programs. Findings form this research could inform policymakers in reviewing current basic correctional officer training programs such that training programs meet the needs of correctional officers and the changing inmate population.