Uncovering and Reporting Corruption

  • Andrew Goldsmith
  • Mark Halsey
  • Andrew Groves
Part of the Crime Prevention and Security Management book series (CPSM)


In this chapter, we examine the primary factors that affect the uncovering (discovery) and reporting of correctional corruption, in particular by officers and contractors. It will be argued that, more broadly, there is a considerable organisational, cultural and political resistance to admitting to, or searching for, instances of correctional corruption. In addition, for the same reasons, it is typically very difficult for individual officers to report suspicions or evidence of corruption within correctional settings. Establishing organisational structures, cultures and climates conducive to reporting corrupt practices requires an acknowledgement of the difficult balancing act between integrity and current understandings of prison security and safety, and the need for a more open and honest discussion about priorities. If, as we argue, Sykes was correct about the inevitable corruption of authority associated with the smooth running of a prison system, then what is prioritised as unacceptable corruption needs to be clearly established, and the costs of uncovering and reporting it fully calculated and provided for in the structures, training and resourcing needed for pursuing those priorities.


Correctional Setting Workplace Bully Corrupt Practice Correctional Staff Prison Officer 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Adshead, G. (2013b). Prison whistleblower sent on leave. The West Australian. Retrieved July 6, 2013, from Scholar
  2. Brown, D. (2004). The Nagle Royal Commission 25 years on: Gaining perspective on two and a half decades of NSW prison reform. Alternative Law Journal, 29(3), 135–141.Google Scholar
  3. Chambers, G. (2015). Prison guard Jody Marson revealed as one-punch killer Kieran Loveridge’s alleged lover. The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved April 8, 2015, from
  4. Crawley, E. (2004) Doing Prison Work: The Public and Private Lives of Prison Officers. London: RoutledgeGoogle Scholar
  5. Crawley, E., & Crawley, P. (2008). Understanding prison officers: Culture, cohesion and conflicts. In J. Bennett, B. Crewe, & A. Wahidin (Eds.), Understanding prison staff. Cullompton: Willan Publishing.Google Scholar
  6. Crewe, B. (2007). Power, adaptation and resistance in a late-modern men’s prison. British Journal of Criminology, 47(2), 256–275.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Crewe, B. (2009). The prisoner society. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  8. Crime and Misconduct Commission (CMC) (2009). Perceptions of misconduct in Queensland correctional institutions: A survey of custodial officers. CMC: Queensland.Google Scholar
  9. Dryburgh, M. (2009). Personal and policy implications of whistle-blowing: The case of Corcoran state prison. Public Integrity, 11(2), 155–170.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Elliott, W., & Verdeyen, V. (2002). Game over! Strategies for redirecting inmate deception. Lanham: American Correctional Association.Google Scholar
  11. Goldsmith, A. (2010). Policing’s new visibility. British Journal of Criminology, 50(5), 914–934.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Goldsmith, A. (2015). Disgracebook policing: Social media and the rise of police indiscretion. Policing & Society, 25(3), 249–267.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Gorta, A. (2003). The NSW independent commission against corruption’s experience in minimising corruption. Asian Journal of Political Science, 11(1), 1–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Guardian Australia. (2015). Serco-run immigration centre turned blind eye to corruption, court told. The Guardian [online]. Retrieved February 25, 2015, from Scholar
  15. Hoel, H., & Cooper, C. (2000). Destructive conflict and bullying at work. Manchester: University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology.Google Scholar
  16. Irwin, J. (1980). Prisons in turmoil. Boston: Little, Brown.Google Scholar
  17. Laville, S., & Taylor, M. (2014). Prison whistleblowers in England and Wales being threatened with dismissal. The Guardian, 21 October 2014.Google Scholar
  18. Lennane, K., & De Maria, W. (1998). The downside of whistleblowing. Medical Journal of Australia, 169(7), 351–352.Google Scholar
  19. Loyens, K. (2011). Why police officers and labour inspectors (do not) blow the whistle: A grid group cultural theory perspective. Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies & Management, 36(1), 27–50.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. McEvoy, K. (2000). Paramilitary imprisonment in Northern Ireland. Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
  21. McIlwain, G. (2004). Professional misconduct between inmates and non-custodial staff: A study of Queensland’s correctional centres. Ph.D. thesis, Griffith University, Queensland, Australia.Google Scholar
  22. Natapoff, A. (2009). Snitching: Criminal informants and the erosion of American justice. New York: New York University Press.Google Scholar
  23. Podmore, J. (2012). Out of sight, out of mind: Why Britain’s prisons are failing. London: Biteback Publishing.Google Scholar
  24. Prenzler, T., & Faulkner, N. (2010). Towards a model public sector integrity commission. Australian Journal of Public Administration, 69(3), 251–262.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Sykes, G. (1958). The society of captives: A study of a maximum security prison. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  26. Vinson, T. (1982). Wilful obstruction: The frustration of prison reform. North Ryde: Methuen.Google Scholar
  27. Wortley, R. (2002). Situational prison control: Crime prevention in correctional institutions. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Zimbardo, P. (2007). The Lucifer effect: Understanding how good people turn evil. New York: Random House.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrew Goldsmith
    • 1
  • Mark Halsey
    • 1
  • Andrew Groves
    • 2
  1. 1.Flinders UniversityAdelaideAustralia
  2. 2.Deakin UniversityBurwoodAustralia

Personalised recommendations