4th Purpose seeks to research, develop, support and advocate for best practices that positively impact the prison setting and those involved therein–inmates, corrections staff, volunteer support, family members, victims and the like. We want better inmate outcomes, but we can’t make prison a place of transformation without first dealing with the unique risks of the prison setting. The unique demands of the prison organization and its workforce, which greatly affect the inmate/staff interaction, must be a part of the mission of making prison a place of transformation. A toxic inmate/staff interaction is counterproductive to the rehabilitation/transformation process. What must be addressed is the organizational, operational, and traumatic stressors in the correctional setting. These factors lead to high employee burnout, which not only produce negative effects on the health and wellbeing of the officer, but also result in negative and dehumanizing interactions with offenders. Research shows that correctional officer turnover rates are as high as 55% in some state prisons and recruitment and retention remains a critical problem throughout US corrections.  The vacancy and turnover rates drive up the overtime demands, further contributing to an environment favorable for burnout.
In order to improve this environment, 4th Purpose seeks to create a video series entitled “Virtue and Valor” as a means to complement the typical security training a correctional officer receives during his or her employment. The theme of virtue provides an umbrella by which the concept of human dignity and quest of a purposeful and meaningful life can dwell. Under the theme of virtue, the wellbeing of the officer can be addressed, as well as various aspects of the corrections job that involves staff/inmate interaction. The theme of valorization focuses on the elevation of the workforce as a whole. We desire to build valor into corrections as we increase its level of professionalism, expectations, and competencies, all established on a foundation of virtue, having zero tolerance for corruption and abuses of power. In doing so, we demonstrate to the world that correctional officers are more than just jailers, but are valuable agents of transformation who are instrumental in the creation of thriving and safe communities. Ultimately, this is an investment in the personhood of the officer, helping each one to be a better, well-rounded, healthier person, which in turn, will produce a better correctional officer on the post.
 Joe Russo, “Workforce Issues in Corrections,” Corrections Today, Nov/Dec 2019, 20-25.