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NCJ Number: 66850 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: MAJOR PROBLEMS FOR VOLUNTEER PROGRAMS IN CORRECTIONS (PROBATION, PAROLE AND AFTERCARE)
Author(s): J J KIESSLING
Date Published: 1975
Page Count: 24
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Language: English
Country: Canada
Annotation: THIS ARTICLE ILLUMINATES SOME OF THE PROBLEMS THAT ARISE WITH USING VOLUNTEERS IN A PROFESSIONAL PROBATION, PAROLE OR AFTERCARE SERVICE.
Abstract: VOLUNTEERISM IS AN EXPRESSION OF PARTICIPATORY DEMOCRACY IN WHICH ORDINARY CITIZENS PLAY A ROLE WITHIN THE POWER STRUCTURE OF THEIR GOVERNMENTS; I.E. THE SERVICE AGENCIES ACCEPTING THEIR INVOLVEMENT. THE DEGREE OF ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE WITHIN THESE AGENCIES DETERMINES HOW MUCH TRUST AND RESPONSIBILITY WILL BE PLACED ON THEM BY COORDINATORS AND ADMINISTRATORS. VOLUNTEER ASSISTANCE WITH PROBATION WORK IN THE COMMUNITY EXEMPLIFIES AN INFORMAL STRUCTURE. HOWEVER, RECENT TRENDS IN CORRECTIONAL VOLUNTEER PROGRAMS EXHIBIT MORE STRUCTURED FRAMEWORKS, USUALLY RECOMMENDED FOR URBAN SETTINGS WHERE LARGE NUMBERS OF VOLUNTEERS MUST BE COORDINATED AND MANAGED. DRAWBACKS TO STRUCTURED VOLUNTEER PROGRAMS INCLUDE THE RISK THAT THE PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATION WILL BE PUBLICLY CRITICIZED BY ITS COMMUNITY PARTICIPANTS, A CIRCUMSTANCE THAT A CAPABLE PROGRAM COORDINATOR CAN UTILIZE TO THE BENEFIT OF HIS PROJECT. ORGANIZATION STRUCTURES CAN BE HARD OR SOFT, DEPENDING ON THE AMOUNT OF RESPONSIBILITY THE COORDINATOR RESERVES FOR HIMSELF. THE SOFT STRUCTURE OF SHARED RESPONSIBILITY CORRESPONDS BETTER TO THE DEMOCRATIC IDEAS ESPOUSED BY MOST PROGRAMS, BUT TENDS TO BE SLOW AND CUMBERSOME. VOLUNTEER ATTITUDES MUST BE CHANNELED TO NOT OVEREMPHASIZE THEIR ALTRUISM AND FRIENDSHIP ROLES TOWARD CLIENTS, AS WELL AS TO CURB ANY 'PUNISHMENT' INCLINATIONS. PROFESSIONAL AND VOLUNTEER COMPETITION SHOULD BE AVOIDED AND RELATIONSHIPS GEARED TO COOPERATION IN THE COMMON CAUSE. VOLUNTEER TRAINING SHOULD AIM AT PREPARATION FOR EFFECTIVE CONTACT WITH CORRECTIONAL CLIENTS. ADDITIONAL TRAINING GOALS INCLUDE MAKING VOLUNTEERS CONSCIOUS OF DEFICIENCIES IN THEIR COMMUNITIES THAT CONTRIBUTE TO CRIMINAL BEHAVIORS AND PROVIDING THEM WITH AN UNDERSTANDING OF CORRECTIONAL POLICIES IN GENERAL. A TONE OF EXCELLENCE NEEDS TO BE INSTILLED IN CORRECTIONAL PROGRAMS VIA STANDARDS AND CRITERIA FOR THE WORK OF BOTH PROFESSIONALS AND VOLUNTEERS. FINALLY, CORRECTIONS WORKERS SHOULD TRY TO OVERCOME THE SPIRIT OF 'SERIOUSNESS' WITH WHICH CORRECTIONS IS COMMONLY ASSOCIATED, AND ATTEMPT TO INFUSE SOME LIGHTHEARTEDNESS INTO THEIR CONTACT WITH CLIENTS. (MRK)
Index Term(s): Personnel; Probation; Program planning; Volunteer programs; Volunteer training
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=66850

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