Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in United States Corrections Professionals

Prevalence and Impact on Health and Functioning

About the Course:

Corrections professionals routinely witness or directly experience diverse types of events involving violence, injury or death, such as threats of bodily harm or death, physical assaults, and witnessing violence or death. This research article examines posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) prevalence rates among corrections professionals, and explores the psychological, physical, and occupational status and overall functioning in relation to PTSD. Implications and recommendations are also discussed.


Desert Waters Correctional Outreach

Publication Date:



Caterina G. Spinaris, Ph.D., Michael Denhof, Ph.D., & Julie Kellaway, Ph.D.

About the Author:

This research was published by Desert Waters Correctional Outreach. Desert Waters Correctional Outreach is a 501©(3) nonprofit with a mission to increase the occupational, personal and family well-being of staff of all disciplines within the corrections professions. For more information about this organization and their services, please visit

Recommended For:

This course is recommended for administrators and health care professionals, especially psychologists, counselors, social workers, and nurses who seek knowledge about posttraumatic stress disorder among corrections professionals. It is appropriate for all levels of participants’ knowledge.

Course Objectives:

  1. Describe the factors that contribute to potential posttraumatic stress disorder among corrections professionals.

  2. Describe the prevalence of PTSD among corrections professionals in comparison to the general population and other high-risk professions.

  3. Describe the results and implications of this research, including analysis of PTSD rates; experiences with situations involving violence, injury or death (VID); VID-related emotion/feeling states experienced; psychological health measures, impact on functioning, life satisfaction, and health and functioning measures; and positive coping measures.

Exam Questions

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