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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 72278 Find in a Library
Title: Training Correctional Volunteers for Group Discussions
Journal: Criminal Justice and Behavior  Volume:7  Issue:3  Dated:(September 1980)  Pages:341-356
Author(s): J S Wormith
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 16
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Various types of volunteer correctional counseling programs and their trraining components were assessed in terms of group process, participant evaluation, and outcome; results support the use of trained volunteers in systematic controlled activities.
Abstract: Sixty-three volunteers were assigned to 1 of 4 different institutional programs with 50 incarcerated correctional ofenders (trained discussion, untrained discussion, a self-control program and recreation activity) or a delayed-treatment control group. Volunteers were rated on interpersonal skills, and discussions were monitored. An attitude-personality test battery was administered in a prepost design. Participant evaluations were found to be a complex function of the amount and kind of volunteer, and the personality of the client. Trained discussion group volunteers self-reported more tension, and less flexibility than untrained volunteers, although the residents did not describe them as such. Volunteers in the self-control program reported more tension and less flexibility, approachability, and influence relative to the recreation volunteers. Residents rated the self-control volunteers higher in tension but also more approachable and more concrete. Residents expressed a greater appreciation of the noncriminally oriented volunteers. Training had a positive effect on the differential reinforcement of residents' pro- and antisocial statements. All program group volunteers increased on identification with criminal others as a function of their exposure to offenders. Recreation group volunteers also increased on empathy. Recommendations for additional research include a more systematic study of differential reinforcement of offenders' pro- and antisocial statements and a more intensive volunteer training program. Twenty-six references are provided. (Author abstract modified)
Index Term(s): Correctional personnel; Correctional volunteer training; Counseling training
Note: Earlier version presented at the Canadian Congress of Criminology and Corrections, Calgary, Alberta, July 1977
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