The Leadership of Prison Warden

The Leadership of Prison Warden

Observing a strict chain of command is critical at Milford prisons to ensure that security and safety of the inmates are protected and that the authorities in charge agree and harmonious operations. Equally, observation of duty and the stipulated operating procedures is paramount to sustaining a healthy coexistence of personnel at the Milford prisons. The presented case is one that involves a chain of command and personal relations.

Good communication channel with a well-stipulated ethos and directions is important for a well-balanced participation of all employees (Masip, Alonso, Herrero, & Garrido, 2016). However, this alone is not enough to help a communication breakdown such as has been caused by the confrontation of inmates at the dining room. A two-way vertical communication is important which emphasizes the responsibility and position of each party but guarantees a free open communication up the hierarchy as well as down the hierarchy in a respectable manner (Masip, Alonso, Herrero, & Garrido, 2016).

Lieutenant’s inquiry should be approached in a respectable open manner having that the lieutenant is in a higher position and on the list of promotion. This notwithstanding, the lieutenant question can be answered sufficiently by the existing procedures to handle such crisis. However, in the presence of this information and a warden available at the facility, her question may be misunderstood to mean a belittling of the new warden or a total disregard to the standing procedures or a lack of experience in such circumstances. Several communication theories can be used to help solve the matter;

Cognitive Behavioral Theory

This theory puts into account an individual’s interpretation of the scenario, their feelings and how this feeling impact how they behave which is their response (Maguire & Duffee, 2015). It emphasizes the use of communication as a tool to solve matters not to compound them. Using this theory, lieutenant’s inquiry should be handled with utmost carefulness noting that his response to the crisis may be due to different interpretation and feelings that produce different reactions in people. As such the response should be calculated to solve the case and not to remind the lieutenant what he knows or does not know.

Elaboration Likelihood Model

This model suggests that people respond to information through the central or peripheral paths. The central path delves into the particular details of information and its consequences while the peripheral path avoids many details to avoid an overload of information. The peripheral pathway will prove detrimental to development in most cases (Maguire & Duffee, 2015).

The lieutenant may be using the peripheral pathway to respond to the existing procedures and this will necessitate the need of advising the lieutenant respectfully on the need of following the stipulated procedures to ensure a positive progress at the prison. Therefore, the most suitable response will involve the incorporation of these two theories. The formulated strategies will remedy the situation by offering actionable moves to be taken as an experienced warden at Milford. It also emphasizes the need for following the laid procedures to help solve such a scenario when no other person can help (Masip, Alonso, Herrero, & Garrido, 2016).


Responding to senior officers in a prison set up is a challenging undertaking for many junior employees since it may be viewed as a test by the junior officer or an insubordination by the senior officer. However, this can be made simpler through the encouragement of a smooth vertical and horizontal communication. Scenarios involving inexperienced senior staff should be treated with much care to avoid the humiliation of the senior personnel or strenuous working relations.


Masip, J., Alonso, H., Herrero, C., & Garrido, E. (2016). Experienced and novice officers’ generalized communication suspicion and veracity judgments. Law and Human Behavior, 40(2), 169-181.

Maguire, E. R., & Duffee, D. E. (2015). Criminal justice theory: explaining the nature and behavior of criminal justice. New York, NY:Routledge.