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CCWORK protocol: a longitudinal study of Canadian Correctional Workers’ Well-being, Organizations, Roles and Knowledge
  1. Rosemary Ricciardelli1,
  2. Elizabeth Andres1,
  3. Meghan M Mitchell2,
  4. Bastien Quirion3,
  5. Diane Groll4,
  6. Michael Adorjan5,
  7. Marcella Siqueira Cassiano1,
  8. James Shewmake1,
  9. Martine Herzog-Evans6,
  10. Dominique Moran7,
  11. Dale C Spencer8,
  12. Christine Genest9,
  13. Stephen Czarnuch10,
  14. James Gacek11,
  15. Cramm Heidi12,
  16. Katharina Maier13,
  17. Jo Phoenix14,
  18. Michael Weinrath13,
  19. Joy MacDermid15,
  20. Margaret McKinnon16,
  21. Stacy Haynes17,
  22. Helen Arnold18,
  23. Jennifer Turner19,
  24. Anna Eriksson20,
  25. Alexandra Heber21,
  26. Gregory Anderson22,
  27. Renee MacPhee23,
  28. Nicholas Carleton24
  1. 1Department of Sociology, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada
  2. 2Department of Criminal Justice, University of Central Florida, Orlando, Florida, USA
  3. 3Department of Criminology, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
  4. 4Department of Psychiatry, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada
  5. 5Department of Sociology, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  6. 6Faculty of Law, Universite de Reims Champagne-Ardenne, Reims, Grand Est, France
  7. 7School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK
  8. 8Department of Law and Legal Studies, Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
  9. 9Faculty of Nursing, Universite de Montreal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
  10. 10Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science; Faculty of Medicine, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada
  11. 11Department of Justice Studies, University of Regina, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
  12. 12School of Rehabilitation Therapy, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada
  13. 13Department of Justice Studies, The University of Winnipeg, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
  14. 14Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, The Open University, Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, UK
  15. 15School of Physical Therapy, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada
  16. 16Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences/McMaster Integrative Neuroscience Discovery and Study (MINDS), McMaster University/St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
  17. 17Department of Sociology, Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, Mississippi, USA
  18. 18School of Law, University of East Anglia, Norwich, Norfolk, UK
  19. 19Institute for Social Sciences, Carl von Ossietzky Universitat Oldenburg, Oldenburg, Niedersachsen, Germany
  20. 20School of Social Sciences, Monash University, Clayton, Victoria, Australia
  21. 21Veterans Affairs Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
  22. 22Faculty of Science, Thompson Rivers University, Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada
  23. 23Kinesiology and Physical Education, Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
  24. 24Department of Psychology, University of Regina, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canda
  1. Correspondence to Dr Rosemary Ricciardelli; rricciardell{at}


Introduction Knowledge about the factors that contribute to the correctional officer’s (CO) mental health and well-being, or best practices for improving the mental health and well-being of COs, have been hampered by the dearth of rigorous longitudinal studies. In the current protocol, we share the approach used in the Canadian Correctional Workers’ Well-being, Organizations, Roles and Knowledge study (CCWORK), designed to investigate several determinants of health and well-being among COs working in Canada’s federal prison system.

Methods and analysis CCWORK is a multiyear longitudinal cohort design (2018–2023, with a 5-year renewal) to study 500 COs working in 43 Canadian federal prisons. We use quantitative and qualitative data collection instruments (ie, surveys, interviews and clinical assessments) to assess participants’ mental health, correctional work experiences, correctional training experiences, views and perceptions of prison and prisoners, and career aspirations. Our baseline instruments comprise two surveys, one interview and a clinical assessment, which we administer when participants are still recruits in training. Our follow-up instruments refer to a survey, an interview and a clinical assessment, which are conducted yearly when participants have become COs, that is, in annual ‘waves’.

Ethics and dissemination CCWORK has received approval from the Research Ethics Board of the Memorial University of Newfoundland (File No. 20190481). Participation is voluntary, and we will keep all responses confidential. We will disseminate our research findings through presentations, meetings and publications (e.g., journal articles and reports). Among CCWORK’s expected scientific contributions, we highlight a detailed view of the operational, organizational and environmental stressors impacting CO mental health and well-being, and recommendations to prison administrators for improving CO well-being.

  • correctional officer
  • well-being
  • training
  • prison
  • organisations
  • stressors
  • public safety personnel (PSP)
  • mental health disorder
  • posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • occupations
  • occupational stress injuries (OSIs)
  • posttraumatic stress injuries (PTSI)
  • depression
  • anxiety disorder
  • panic disorder
  • longitudinal
  • cohort

This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited, appropriate credit is given, any changes made indicated, and the use is non-commercial. See:

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  • Author’s contributions RR conceptualised the project with support of coauthors. AH, AE, BQ, CG, DS, DG, DM, EA, GA, HC, HA, JG, JS, JT, JP, JM, KM, MSC, MM, MH-E, MMM, MA, MW, NC, RM, RR, SH and SC contributed to the research procedures discussed in this protocol. They also revised this article critically, approved its final version and agreed to be accountable for this article’s accuracy and integrity. RR, EA, JS, MA, MMM and MSC also drafted the work and made substantial contributions to the acquisition, analysis and interpretation of the data for this article. RR also led the project, integrating everyone’s contributions.

  • Funding This manuscript is an original work that has not been submitted for consideration or published elsewhere. This study is supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, grants No. 411 385 (31 January 2019), 411 387 (31 January 2019), 422 567 (27 May 2019) and 440 140 (31 March 2020). The research is also supported by the Correctional Services of Canada (grant no. N/A) and the Union of Canadian Correctional Officers (UCCO-SACC-CSN) (grant no. N/A).

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.