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The Shift Length Experiment: What We Know about 8-, 10-, and 12-hour Shifts in Policing

While this research focused on policing, the results are applicable to correctional settings. “The Police Foundation experiment was designed to test the impacts of three shift lengths (8-, 10-, and 12-hour) on performance, health, safety, quality of life, sleep, fatigue, alertness, off-duty employment, and overtime among police ... The study found some distinct advantages of 10-hour shifts and identified some disadvantages associated with 12-hour shifts that are concerning. It is important that agencies implement strategies and policies that are evidence based, and the findings of this study provide important information for law enforcement leaders and other policy makers to consider when examining both the most efficient and effective practices for their agency, as well as the safety and quality of life of their personnel and the public they serve.” The following resources can be found here: podcasts regarding the Shift Length Experiment; “The Shift Length Experiment: What We Know About 8-, 10-, and 12-Hour Shifts in Policing” by Karen L. Amendola, David Weisburd, Edwin E. Hamilton, Greg Jones, and Meghan Slipka; “An Experimental Study of Compressed Work Schedules in Policing: Advantages and Disadvantages of Various Shift Lengths” by Amendola, Weisburd, Hamilton, Jones, and Slipka; “The Impact of Shift Length in Policing on Performance, Health, Quality of Life, Sleep, Fatigue, and Extra-Duty Employment” by Amendola, Weisburd, Hamilton, Jones, and Slipka; “Trends in Shift Length: Results of a Random National Survey of Police Agencies by Amendola, Slipka, Hamilton, and Michael Soeberg; and “Law Enforcement Shift Schedules: Results of a 2005 Random National Survey of Police Agencies” by Amendola, Hamilton, and Laura A. Wyckoff.