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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 50732 Find in a Library
Title: MOTIVATION - WALKING THE TIGHTROPE OF PROBATION AND PAROLE
Journal: TEXAS JOURNAL OF CORRECTIONS  Volume:4  Issue:16  Dated:(SEPTEMBER/ OCTOBER 1978)  Pages:14-19
Author(s): J A LACOUR
Corporate Author: Texas Corrections Assoc
United States of America
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 6
Sponsoring Agency: Texas Corrections Assoc
Austin, TX 78741
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: BY APPLYING IDEAS DEVELOPED ABOUT MOTIVATION, PROBATION AND PAROLE OFFICERS CAN INCREASE THE COOPERATION OF OFFENDERS AND BECOME MORE EFFECTIVE IN AIDING THEM TO MEET PROBATION AND PAROLE REQUIREMENTS.
Abstract: THE NATURE OF THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM PLACES UNUSUAL AND DIFFICULT DEMANDS ON ITS PERSONNEL, PARTICULARLY ON PROBATION AND PAROLE OFFICERS, WHO MUST HELP LARGE NUMBERS OF OFFENDERS ADJUST TO COMMUNITY AND FAMILY RESPONSIBILITIES AND NOT VIOLATE THE LAW OR CONDITIONS OF THEIR PROBATION OR PAROLE. THE INVOLUNTARY STATUS OF THESE CLIENTS MAKES THE TASK MORE DIFFICULT. VARIOUS EXPLANATIONS OF MOTIVATION ARE OFFERED, INCLUDING THEORIES ON MOTIVATIONAL PROCESSES, COGNITIVE THEORIES, AND MASLOW'S HIERARCHY OF NEEDS. MASLOW SUGGESTS THAT EACH PERSON HAS PHYSIOLOGICAL, SAFETY, LOVE OR SOCIAL, ESTEEM, AND SELF-ACTUALIZATION NEEDS. MANY PROBATIONERS AND PAROLEES ARE ANXIOUS ABOUT THEIR LEGAL STATUS; ABOUT DIFFICULTIES IN FINDING A JOB, STAYING IN SCHOOL, HAVING A SATISFACTORY RELATIONSHIP WITH THEIR FAMILIES; AND ABOUT MANY OTHER PROBLEMS THAT ACCOMPANY THE PROBATION OR PAROLE EXPERIENCE. THE PROBATION OR PAROLE OFFICER MUST HELP THE CLIENT TO KEEP THE ANXIETY IN BOUNDS. THE CONCEPT OF COGNITIVE DISSONANCE HAS GREAT UTILITY IN DEVELOPING MOTIVATION. THIS CONCEPT IS BASED ON THE IDEA THAT A PERSON NEEDS AGREEMENT BETWEEN HIS EXPECTATIONS AND THE ACTUAL BEHAVIORS HE ENCOUNTERS. WHEN A PERSON ENCOUNTERS CONTRADICTORY INFORMATION OR BEHAVIOR, HE ENTERS A STATE OF DISSONANCE, WHICH IS UNCOMFORTABLE AND MOTIVATES HIM TO CHANGE EITHER HIS IDEAS OR BEHAVIOR TO MAINTAIN THEIR AGREEMENT. THE THEORY OF COGNITIVE DISSONANCE SUGGESTS THAT MOTIVATION MUST BE LOGICALLY AND INTERNALLY CONSISTENT. A CENTRAL ELEMENT IN THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN AN OFFENDER AND A PROBATION OR PAROLE OFFICER IS THE OFFENDER'S PERCEPTION OF ACTIVITIES MODELED AND ACTIVITIES IN WHICH THE PROBATION OR PAROLE OFFICER ENCOURAGES HIM OR HER TO TAKE PART. OFFENDERS SHOULD CLEARLY UNDERSTAND HOW PROPOSED ACTIVITIES MAY BENEFIT THEM. A PRODUCTIVE METHOD OF PROVIDING FEEDBACK TO OFFENDERS IS TO HAVE FREQUENT ASSESSMENTS OF THEIR PERFORMANCE IMMEDIATELY AFTER AN EVENT THAT IS BEING EVALUATED. THE OFFENDER'S PARTICIPATION IN EMPLOYMENT DECISIONS IS CRITICAL TO INCREASING HIS MOTIVATION. A CLIENT'S LEVEL OF JOB SATISFACTION WILL BE HIGHEST IF HIS PROBATION OR PAROLE OFFICER, IN PLACING HIM, DOES THE FOLLOWING: HELPS THE OFFENDER CHOOSE A JOB IN WHICH THE SOCIAL STRUCTURE AND PEOPLE WITH WHOM THE OFFENDER INTERACTS CAN HAVE A POSITIVE INFLUENCE ON HIM; CORRELATE THE JOB TO THE OFFENDER'S LEVEL OF SKILL; HELPS THE CLIENT TO DEVELOP HIS JOB SKILLS. (DEP)
Index Term(s): Alternatives to institutionalization; Motivation; Parole; Parolees; Probation; Probation or parole officers; Probationers
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=50732

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