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NCJ Number: 50661 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: CRIMINAL JUSTICE VOLUNTEERS - GOLD OR PYRITE? (FROM INSTITUTE OF CONTEMPORARY CORRECTIONS AND THE BEHAVIORAL SCIENCES, 12TH ANNUAL INTERAGENCY WORKSHOP - PROCEEDINGS, 1977 - SEE NCJ-50660)
Author(s): R MOFFITT
Corporate Author: Sam Houston State University
Criminal Justice Ctr
United States of America
Date Published: 1977
Page Count: 8
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
Sam Houston State University
Huntsville, TX 77340
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: ELEMENTS OF VARIOUS ONE-TO-ONE VOLUNTEER PROBATION PROGRAMS ARE DESCRIBED, WITH PARTICULAR ATTENTION TO THE 'PARTNERS' PROGRAM IN DENVER, COLO., AND THE GENERAL ADVANTAGES OF VOLUNTEER PROGRAMS ARE DISCUSSED.
Abstract: INCREASED GOVERNMENT INVOLVEMENT IN CRIMINAL JUSTICE PROGRAMS THROUGH THE EXPANSION OF FULL-TIME PROFESSIONAL STAFF IS VIEWED AS A LIMITED APPROACH TO DEALING WITH A BASIC NEED IN DETERRING CRIME--HELPING OFFENDERS AND POTENTIAL OFFENDERS TO COPE WITH THEIR PROBLEMS IN A POSITIVE MANNER THROUGH A CARING RELATIONSHIP WITH A MATURE PERSON. THE VOLUNTEER PROGRAMS DISCUSSED AIM AT MEETING THIS NEED BY USING VOLUNTEERS FROM THE COMMUNITY TO INITIATE AND MAINTAIN A RELATIONSHIP WITH PERSONS, PARTICULARLY JUVENILES, WHO HAVE CONTACTED THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM. INCIDENTS FROM THE AUTHOR'S PERSONAL EXPERIENCES WITH THE 'PARTNERS' PROGRAM IN DENVER ARE DESCRIBED TO ILLUSTRATE THE DYNAMICS OF THE PROGRAM. IN THIS PARTICULAR PROGRAM, OVER 3,000 MATCHED PAIRS EXIST AS A RESULT OF VOLUNTEER HELP. VOLUNTEERS ARE SELECTED ON THE BASIS OF THEIR MATURITY IN COPING WITH THEIR OWN PROBLEMS IN A SATISFYING WAY, WHILE HAVING AN EMPATHIC NATURE. IN ADDITION TO THE VOLUNTEERS SERVING IN ONE-TO-ONE RELATIONSHIPS, OTHER CONCERNED CITIZENS RECEIVE AND RESPOND TO NEWSLETTER REQUESTS FOR CLOTHING AND OTHER NEEDED GOODS FOR THOSE SERVED IN THE PROGRAM. BUSINESSES AND BUSINESSMEN NOT ONLY CONTRIBUTE FINANCIALLY, BUT GIVE THEIR TIME TO SERVE ON THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF THE PROGRAM TO INSURE THAT IT IS OPERATED UNDER AN EFFECTIVE MANAGEMENT STRUCTURE. MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS ALSO VOLUNTEER THEIR PROFESSIONAL SERVICES TO DEAL WITH CLIENT HEALTH PROBLEMS. ONE STUDY OF THE PROGRAM SHOWED THAT IN A 6-MONTH PERIOD OF TIME THERE WAS A 65 PERCENT DECREASE IN THE INCIDENCE OF MAJOR THEFT BY CLIENTS IN THE PROGRAM, COMPARED TO A SIMULTANEOUS 68 PERCENT INCREASE IN SUCH CRIMES BY COURT-SUPERVISED OFFENDERS NOT IN THE PROGRAM. VOLUNTEER PROGRAMS ARE HELD TO OFFER THE ADVANTAGE OF INCREASED DIRECT INVOLVEMENT WITH THOSE WHO NEED HELP, WHILE COMMUNICATING A CARING ATTITUDE UNCLUTTERRED BY THE AURA OF PAID PROFESSIONALISM. IT IS URGED THAT PROFESSIONAL STAFF INCREASE THEIR EFFORTS TOWARD INITIATING AND IMPROVING VOLUNTEER PROGRAMS. (RCB)
Index Term(s): Colorado; Juvenile delinquency prevention; Probation or parole services; Volunteer programs
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