Keywords: Prison Officers; Authority; Role Identity; Dynamic Surveillance; Prison.
In 2013, the «pilot» sentence of the European Court on Human Rights condemned Italy for the inhuman and degrading treatment of prisoners. As a consequence, the Italian penitentiary system has been affected by significant organizational changes, which have led to the implementation of the dynamic surveillance. In daily negotiation and assertion of their authority, officers have to deal with a new dynamic context. In this essay I will explore the relationship between officers' attitudes toward the exercise of authority and the construction of their role identity. This relationship is proposed as a key for understanding officers' responses to organizational changes.