The boundary violation that I chose from the Blackburn, Fowler, Mullings, and Marquart (2011) article was of inmates receiving confidential or romantic letters from staff members. This practice violates the American Psychological Association’s (2016) Ethics Code in multiple areas. Specifically, it violates Standard 3.02 Sexual Harassment, 3.04 Avoiding Harm, and 3.05 Multiple Relationships. Furthermore, it violates the General Principles of the Ethics Code since prisoners are considered protected and vulnerable populations. In terms of applying this boundary violation to what is known about the Systematic Model for Decision Making, the problem is that there are inappropriate relationships between those with power, and those without power/vulnerable populations.
These power differentials and the setting, which exacerbates power differences, contributes to the problem. In terms of legal and ethical issues, this may qualify as abuse of prisoners since it is considered rather emotionally abusive due to power differences. In terms of my personal beliefs and values, I feel strongly for the imprisoned individuals because they may be taken advantage of by the powerful staff members and guards. My personal values tell me that those in power should not take advantage of those without power. A solution to the problem would be to have oversight of staff, with reporting efforts put in place. Surveillance videos would be helpful, and making sure that staff members have no paper with them before entering the prison could also be helpful.
Consequences are increased costs, retaliation from staff members who feel that their freedoms are being taken away, and the emergence of more covert forms of communication between prisoners and staff. Overall, I think the best course of action would be to reduce paper and writing utensils in the prison setting for guards and prisoners. I would also like to implement increased video surveillance of the area. The next process would involve assessing the outcome and implementing changes based on the data. In this case, it would be the number of romantic and confidential letters from staff members.