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NCJ Number: 43378 Find in a Library
Title: DEVELOPING RELEVANT DATA FOR A PRISON ORGANIZATIONAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM
Journal: JOURNAL OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE  Volume:5  Issue:2  Dated:(SUMMER 1977)  Pages:85-103
Author(s): V O'LEARY; D DUFFEE; E WENK
Corporate Author: Pergamon Press, Inc
United States of America
Date Published: 1977
Page Count: 9
Sponsoring Agency: Pergamon Press, Inc
Elmsford, NY 10523
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: A PROJECT TO DEVELOP A SET OF TECHNIQUES TO BRING ABOUT CHANGE IN AN EXISTING PRISON IS DESCRIBED. IT FOCUSED ON THE MANAGERS OF THE STATEWIDE SYSTEM AND THE MANAGERS OF THE ONE PRISON SELECTED FOR INTERVENTION EXPERIMENTS.
Abstract: THROUGHOUT THE PRISON LITERATURE, IT IS NOTED THAT BEHAVIOR OF INMATES IS SIGNIFICANTLY SHAPED BY ORGANIZATIONAL CONSTRAINTS; CHANGING THOSE CONSTRAINTS MAY HAVE A CONCOMITANT EFFECT ON BEHAVIOR. THE FIRST STEP IN DEVELOPING A SYSTEM FOR CHANGE WAS A SERIES OF TRUE/FALSE QUESTIONS ABOUT THE CLIMATE IN THE PRISON. AS EXPECTED, THERE WERE CONSIDERABLE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN PRISONER RESPONSES AND MANAGEMENT RESPONSES. INMATES FOUND THE INSTITUTION LOW ON INMATE INVOLVEMENT, SUPPORT, AND ENCOURAGEMENT OF EXPRESSION OF FEELINGS, FAIRLY PRACTICAL IN ITS VOCATIONAL TRAINING, OFFERING LITTLE EMOTIONAL SUPPORT, UNCLEAR IN ITS DIRECTION, AND GENERALLY USING TIGHT STAFF CONTROL. THE STAFF RATED THE PRISON HIGH ON ALL THESE FACTORS EXCEPT STAFF CONTROL, WHICH THEY SAW AS LOW. THE ONLY POINT OF AGREEMENT WAS THAT THE VOCATIONAL EDUCATION WAS PRACTICAL. SCORES ON THESE SCALES WERE THEN CORRELATED WITH PURPOSE OF THE INSTITUTION AS SEEN BY STAFF: TO REINTEGRATE PRISONERS WITH SOCIETY, TO REHABILITATE THEM, TO REFORM THEM, OR TO RESTRAIN THEM. PRISONERS IN REINTEGRATION INSTITUTIONS FOUND MORE AUTONOMY, PERSONAL SUPPORT, AND ENCOURAGEMENT OF EXPRESSION. THE REFORM MODEL PRISONS SHOWED INVERSE RELATIONSHIPS ON THESE SCALES, WHILE THE RESTRAINT INSTITUTIONS HAD THE STRONGEST NEGATIVE CORRELATIONS OF ALL. THE INMATES OF REINTEGRATION AND REHABILITATION INSTITUTIONS FOUND THE VOCATIONAL TRAINING FAR MORE PRACTICAL (STATISTICALLY SIGNIFICANT AT THE 5 PERCENT LEVEL) AND THE PERSONAL PROBLEM ORIENTATION STRONGER (STATISTICALLY SIGNIFICANT AT THE 1 PERCENT LEVEL). IN ALL FOUR INSTITUTIONAL TYPES, STAFF PERSONNEL EXPRESSED STRONG DESIRES FOR ORDER. MANY STAFF MEMBERS IN THE REHABILITATION AND REINTEGRATION INSTITUTIONS FELT CONFUSED BECAUSE POLICY DECISIONS FROM SUPERIORS WERE IN CONFLICT WITH STATED GOALS OF THE ORGANIZATION. IT BECAME CLEAR FROM IN-DEPTH ANALYSIS OF THE QUESTIONNAIRES THAT CHANGE IN MANAGERIAL PRACTICES WOULD BE ONLY MARGINALLY EFFECTIVE. A NUMBER OF ACTIVITIES WERE UNDERTAKEN, INCLUDING SHIFTS IN JOB DEFINITIONS, OPPORTUNITIES FOR INMATES AND OFFICERS TO REVIEW ORGANIZATION ACTIVITIES, AND A SPECIAL ACTION PROJECT. TWO YEARS AFTER THE PROJECT BEGAN, CHANGES ARE SLOWLY BEGINNING TO OCCUR. THE MOST SIGNIFICANT SO FAR ARE A DECENTRALIZED CLASSIFICATION DECISIONMAKING PROCESS INVOLVING CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS, WORK SUPERVISORS, COUNSELORS, AND INMATE DISCUSSION GROUPS TO HELP BRING PROBLEMS INTO THE OPEN.
Index Term(s): Correctional institutions (adult); Management; Organization studies; Reform
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=43378

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