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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 72317 Find in a Library
Title: Measurement of Inmate Social Role Types - An Assessment
Journal: Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology  Volume:71  Issue:3  Dated:(Fall 1980)  Pages:317-324
Author(s): E D Poole; R M Regoli; C W Thomas
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 8
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study examined the extent to which the measurement of inmate social role types discriminates between types of inmates and explored this variable's potential for predicting other salient aspects of adaption to institutional confinement.
Abstract: Despite the theoretical importance of inmate role adaptation and the frequency with which this variable has been examined, little research has focused on the empirical soundness of the measures that have been employed. This study is based on data obtained from inmates who were confined in a Virginia maximum security institution for adult male felons. A systematic random sample of 405 inmates was drawn from the 810 persons who were permanently assigned to the working population of the institution. A subsample of 37 was drawn from those confined in the maximum security cell block. Completed and usable questionnaires were obtained from 84 percent of the sample. Thus, the research was based on the data obtained from a matched group of 276 inmates. To measure inmate role types, a set of 23 Likert-type items was developed with each item designed to reflect a component of the attitudinal organization of a given role type. The inmate was thus represented by five scale scores, indicating his status on each of the five role types. Coefficient alpha was used to estimate the reliability of each role type and an item analysis was made of the five role configurations. Results of the research indicated that the scales do not discriminate between various categories of inmates as discussed in previous research. The data also showed that these measures are unable to predict other important variables. There is a need therefore, for a more sophisticated set of measures for studying correctional processes. A total of 14 footnotes and 4 tables are included as well as 2 appendixes of related data. (Author abstract modified)
Index Term(s): Attitudes; Inmate classification; Role perception; Virginia
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