Date of Conferral
Retention of teachers in correctional organizations is an ongoing challenge. A correctional education setting is a nontraditional unstable academic setting where teacher turnover is one third within the first 5 years. The purpose of this descriptive qualitative phenomenological study was to explore the lived experiences of leaders in correctional organizations who are challenged with finding ways to reduce teacher turnover in a juvenile correctional facility. The conceptual framework that guided this study was Bandura's self-efficacy theory. Using purposive sampling, 6 former juvenile correctional principals participated in the study. Data were collected through systematic open-ended semistructured interviews with 4 occurring via email correspondence, a reflective journal, and member checking. Participants provided their perceptions of factors or events that impacted a teacher's decision to remain in or leave the field. Data were analyzed with an intention to discover emerging themes through the process of thematic coding via a modified Van Manen method. The themes that emerged from the data included participatory leadership/principal support, administration expectations versus teacher expectations, correctional setting barriers, and teacher flexibility. Leadership employing and retaining quality teachers increases the probability of incarcerated youth receiving continuous educational services that are necessary to reenter society as a productive student. The increase chance of success provides a boost to the economy for society, a positive social change, because of the youth's academic and job readiness to operate as a productive citizen.