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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 78002 Find in a Library
Title: Human Growth - Effects of a Human Development Course on Criminal Justice Personnel
Journal: Psychological Reports  Volume:48  Issue:2  Dated:(April 1981)  Pages:511-517
Author(s): B Bennett
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 7
Type: Program/Project Evaluation
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Findings are reported from an evaluation of the effects of a human development course on criminal justice personnel.
Abstract: The course was designed to create conditions which foster individual and group growth. Classroom exercises were selected to build warmth and trust between participants. Course activities were intended to provide students with skills that can be applied beyond the classroom; the workshops were intense, personal, and practical. The curriculum involved training in microcounseling (a communications training approach which identifies distinct behavioral components of effective helping), clarification of values, self-knowledge, and assertiveness. Journal writing, outside involvement, exercises in perception and male-female relationships, role playing, and classroom discussion reinforced students' active involvement. The treatment group consisted of 19 Master's level criminal justice students: 10 police officers, 2 corrections personnel, 1 social worker. The comparison group were 19 Master's level education majors enrolled in guidance and counseling. Students in both groups were pretested and posttested for ability to communicate and know oneself. Findings showed that microcounseling skills helped criminal justice personnel learn to communicate more effectively than the control group. They were also more effective in identifying personal values and behavior patterns through skills taught and practiced in the classroom. A followup to this study is recommended to determine if the gains reported on written tests and behavioral observations subsequently show up in job situations. Tabular data and 14 references are provided.
Index Term(s): Counseling; Criminal justice education; Interpersonal relations; Program evaluation
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