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Data: Families of Arizona Prison Guards Suffer High Rates of Domestic Violence

Nearly 20 percent of those reported arrests were for domestic violence. Another study, from Florida in 2012, showed that as many of one-third of prison guards had committed unreported domestic violence.

Some studies show the stress of the job causes some prison guards to exhibit over-controlling behavior at the workplace as well as at home. That behavior may sometimes be legitimate at the prison workplace but is no excuse for domestic – or work — violence. “There have been lots of studies that show correctional officers are under a lot of stress,” said Karen Oehme, Florida State University director of the Institute for Family Violence Studies. “But there are lots of people who work in jobs that have a lot of stress who don’t use domestic violence.”

Under Arizona’s employment policies, a domestic violence arrest is a disciplinary infraction, punishable by an 80-hour suspension for the first offense. Numerous domestic violence arrests result in job loss, as does a conviction for domestic violence.

Prison spokesman Bill Lamoreaux stated the Department of Corrections supports “prosecution to the fullest extent of the law” for staff members who break the law. 


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