PTSD in Corrections officers

The lead story in Sunday’s (April 1, 2012) Oregonian is on PTSD rates in Oregon Corrections Workers, citing 1 in 3 corrections workers have symptoms of PTSD and that 97% have reported witnessing violence, injury or death. This is based on survey research conducted by Desert Waters Correctional Outreach, a nonprofit. To read the article, click or enter:

Survey research on work conditions that may affect the health of corrections workers will be conducted in 2000 Oregon corrections workers by Drs. Leslie Hammer and Charlotte Fritz of Portland State University (PSU), beginning this Spring.

Also mentioned in the article is a new research project being conducted by Dr. Kerry Kuehl of Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) designed to improve the health of Corrections Officers in Oregon. This project is part of the Oregon Healthy WorkForce Center and is also part funded by CROET at OHSU.

While many occupations have become safer in recent years, many jobs remain that may be unhealthy for workers.  The nature of some jobs, such as those that are primarily sedentary, reduce opportunities for exercise or just walking which maintains good personal health.  Improving safety, occupational health and personal wellness is the task of the Oregon Healthy WorkForce Center that is conducting randomized controlled trial (the strongest science) intervention research such as Dr. Kerry Kuehl’s project in corrections workers.

Dr. Leslie Hammer is the Associate Director of the Oregon Healthy WorkForce Center and is Director of PSU’s Occupational Health Psychology program.  The Oregon Healthy WorkForce Center website is at: