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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 75423 Find in a Library
Title: Comparison of Perceptions of Selected Criminal Offenses as Rated by Adjudicated Youthful Offenders and Staff Personnel at an Ohio Youth Commission Facility
Author(s): R J Klein; D M Weis; J V Thomas
Date Published: 1977
Page Count: 22
Sponsoring Agency: Eric Document Reproduction Service
Arlington, VA 22210
Sale Source: Eric Document Reproduction Service
P. O. Box 190
Arlington, VA 22210
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Differences in staff and adjudicated delinquents' perceptions of selected criminal offenses were measured at an Ohio Youth Commission facility, and recommendations for future staff roles were made.
Abstract: The Continuum of Criminal Offenses survey instrument, Juvenile Version, (Klein, 1975) was administered to 17 professional staff, 18 line staff, and 83 juvenile offenders (students) to determine the subjects' attitudes towards status and criminal offenses and how they would handle offenders. The resulting data were analyzed through the use of the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences. The staff were found to have rated most of the 65 offense descriptions, particularly the assault crimes and the sexual offenses, more seriously than did the student group. However, significant differences in ratings were not discovered between first-time offenders and recidivists; multiple commitments did not appear to affect offenders' attitudes. Based on the first group of findings, it is suggested that staff might be able to contribute to a significant attitude and value change in the perceptions of offenders by consciously acting as role models for them to emulate, by providing for staff-student interaction on various topics dealing with hypothetical criminal activities and their consequences, and by using recreational activities as a means of teaching how rules and regulations offer guidelines within which persons must cooperatively act to obtain the desired end results. Furthermore, offenders could be taught how rewarding prosocial behavior might be in obtaining desired goals without breaking the law. Related studies are reviewed. Data tables and an 11-item bibliography are included.
Index Term(s): Attitudes; Behavior modification; Inmate staff relations; Juvenile offender attitudes; Ohio
Note: Presented at the Ohio Academy of Science, April 23, 1977, Columbus, Ohio.
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