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NCJ Number: 70454 Find in a Library
Title: Functional Competencies of First Offender Inmates of the State of Arkansas
Author(s): R A Maxwell
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 172
Sponsoring Agency: UMI Dissertation Services
Ann Arbor, MI 48106-1346
Sale Source: UMI Dissertation Services
300 North Zeeb Road
P.O. Box 1346
Ann Arbor, MI 48106-1346
United States of America
Type: Thesis/Dissertation
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Functional competencies of first-offender inmates incarcerated in correctional institutions in Arkansas were examined using the Adult Performance Level Survey (APL).
Abstract: Subjects were 134 first-offender inmates in 3 adult correctional institutions. The study identified the characteristics of first-offenders relative to age, racial and ethnic origin, level of schooling, program participation, past work experience, past weekly income, and past family weekly income. Inmates' functional competency level in community resources, occupational knowledge, consumer economics, health, and government and law were tested, as well as their competency levels in skill areas. The chi-square test for independence was used to determine significant relationships in the demographic data, and a one-way analysis of variance was used to test for mean score differences. Racial composition of the sample was 54.4 percent white, 38.3 percent black. Results revealed that first-offender inmates were young (85.5 percent were 29 years or younger) and often unemployed (39.4 percent). If employed, they earned less than $96 per week (80.6 percent). These results suggest that economics play a major role in determining involvement in crime. The individual scores on the APL survey suggested that many first offenders were school dropouts (66.4 percent were high school dropouts) due to the lack of interest and the possible failure of the school curriculum to instill motivation. The review of literature and the study results indicate that the desire or choice of persons who become involved with crime rests on several events, conditions, and circumstances which predispose these persons to crime early in life. The results point to the failure of the family, early education, and the church to impart motivation and a positive self-concept, thereby leading the individual to crime. Recommendations include implementation of a course in government and law in the correctional institution school curriculum, and other revisions or additions, to include an evaluation of computation courses, an educational release program availability of college-level courses, and mandatory continuing education for staff. Twenty-three tables, over 50 references and appendices (including the APL Survey) complete the study.
Index Term(s): Arkansas; Inmate academic education; Inmate attitudes; Inmate Programs; Inmate statistics; Inmate vocational training; Offenders college-credit-programs
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