An Exploratory Study of Experiences and Training Needs of Early-Career Correctional Psychologists

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Early-career correctional psychologists (ECCPs) have challenging roles, but their experiences and training needs remain unstudied in the literature. This study marks the first step in introducing the experiences and training needs of ECCPs. Professional development statements listed from 192 doctoral-level ECCPs during an orientation training exercise were available for archival, secondary data analysis. By adapting and applying the consensual qualitative research (CQR) procedure, professional development statements from ECCPs on the best work advice received were coded into 9 categories; and immediate training-need statements were coded into 6 categories. The most frequently presented advice categories were balance and flexibility. The most common immediate training-need category was policy knowledge. By clarifying and articulating categories within these data, we weave a more complete picture of the experiences and perspectives (a) used by those currently in the workforce and (b) required for effectively training a resilient correctional psychologist workforce in the future. Implications for ECCP development and supervision are made.

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