Date of Award

Summer 2008

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Sociology & Criminal Justice


Applied Sociology

Committee Director

Melvina Sumter

Committee Member

Lucien X. Lombardo

Committee Member

Robert K. Perkins

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.S62 M388 2008


This thesis is an exploratory study which examines the perceptions of a glass ceiling for females employed in the field of corrections. Interviews with fourteen women who are or have worked in various job rankings in the correctional field provided the data for this study. Participants described their perceptions of barriers facing women seeking a promotion. Themes identified include the balance between their career and their home life, personal encounters with sexual harassment and the amount of interaction with other males and females while employed in the correctional setting.

This research addresses two central research questions: 1. Is there a perception of a glass ceiling among females employed in corrections? 2. If there is, what can be done to help alleviate some of the barriers that females face when seeking a promotion in the correctional field?

The findings from this study indicate that the women in this study perceive that there is a glass ceiling for females who are employed in the field of corrections. For example, of the participants interviewed there was a consensus that men employed in the same field receive more promotions. Also, the findings suggest that some women have difficulty balancing their home life with their career. This causes strain and can in turn affect workmanship and eligibility for promotions.


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