Vote: 2 Publish Pending Minor Changes
My decision on this manuscript is best represented by the “publish pending minor changes.” I do have some serious concerns about how the survey was administered – distributed by officers and collected by them – as this means the anonymity of inmates (as far as the prison is concerned) is compromised, their answers could be viewed, and they could suffer retaliation as a result and a number of inmates would be put off (given these reasons) from participating in the research (hence the 42.6% return rate). I have administered surveys directly to inmates and collected them in jails (and gotten a 95% response rate), so I know it can be done with the administration's cooperation.
Having said this, I do think that the study is important enough to publish. Moreover, the overwhelmingly negative response to correctional officer treatment by these women could be taken as a clear indication that these respondents were not intimidated or put off by the way the survey was administered. This does not mean that some weren’t but, rather, that those who were may have been just as likely to regard correctional officer’s treatment of these female inmates in a negative light, which is an argument that the respondents to this survey may be representative of the women inmates generally, at least as that involves their perceptions of COs.
The section on “Female Inmates” was particularly thoughtful in considering ideas. It demonstrated the clear need for procedural justice when acting as a correctional officer in a women’s prison.
Some issues may have to do with the journal’s style directions for articles: there was no introduction or clear discussion section. The content for both sections was handled to a limited degree by other paper sections. Still, the paper's organization would be better clarified, and understanding would be enhanced if they were included as separate sections.
There were a few editing/writing errors that the authors might attend to: overuse of the word “show” or “shown” and making sure that sentences like the following are reworked, “…female inmates experienced sexually and physically abused…”