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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 158769 Find in a Library
Title: Culture Groups in Prison (From Groupwork With Offenders, P 71-79, 1993, Allan Brown and Brian Caddick, eds. - See NCJ-158762)
Author(s): G Towl
Date Published: 1993
Page Count: 9
Sponsoring Agency: Whiting and Birch
Forest Hill, London SE23 3HL, England
Sale Source: Whiting and Birch
P.O. Box 872
70 Dartmouth Road
Forest Hill, London SE23 3HL,
United Kingdom
Type: Program/Project Description
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: A course designed to assist inmates examine values, beliefs, and relationships in their cultural context was established in a training prison in England with a population of about 800 men.
Abstract: Based on a Canadian model, the course sought to develop the tools of self-reflection for critically examining the accuracy and appropriateness of ideas and beliefs and to increase self-understanding and cross-cultural tolerance. In contrast to the Canadian model, the facilitators openly discussed their own values and beliefs. The course used humanities-based materials, including the film Educating Rita, and added some group exercises. Part of the course was an impersonal analysis of cultural influences on values, beliefs, and relationships; another part involved an examination and personal exploration of how, despite powerful cultural influences, we may make decisions about our relationships in a rational way to help us realize self- directed goals. In one session, called Fathers and Sons, group members generated and discussed rules for such relationships and illustrated their points with personal accounts from childhood. The courses ran for 1 academic year. About 40 percent of the men coming to the prison in term-time attended. This kind of group work is useful but rare in prisons due to two kinds of institutional constraints: the ideological bias of effectiveness measures that focus on institutional compliance and reconviction and the imperviousness of prisons as institutions to outside agencies.
Main Term(s): Corrections in foreign countries
Index Term(s): Criminology; England; Foreign probation or parole services; Guided group interaction; Inmate treatment; Probation casework
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