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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 78062 Find in a Library
Title: Bilingual Programming - A Viable Alternative in Corrections Part A (From Report From the National Hispanic Conference on Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice, P 87-119, 1981 - See NCJ-78060)
Author(s): A L Castro
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 31
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The case for bilingual prisons to meet the communication needs of the growing Hispanic inmate population is presented.
Abstract: A recent survey of 233 correctional facilities in the United States and Puerto Rico showed that 19.5 percent of the total male inmate population is Hispanic, with Puerto Ricans accounting for 15.8 percent of the total. Texas, California, Florida, and New York, all of which have large Hispanic populations, also house the largest number of Hispanic inmates in State prisons and local jails. Many of these inmates speak little or no English, and correctional funds have not been sufficient to recruit, train, and retain bilingual non-Hispanic personnel or Hispanic professionals willing to work in prison custodial, program, or administrative roles. In the area of education, the following inmate programs are needed: (1) courses in English as a second language, (2) basic adult education, (3) high school equivalency course in English or Spanish, (4) vocational classes in Spanish, (5) college-level courses in Spanish, (6) correspondence courses in Spanish, and (7) Spanish-as-a-second-language for Hispanics who may not speak or write their own language well. The lack of bilingual institutional staff is especially felt in the medical and psychiatric units, where communication is so important to treatment. The absence of prominently displayed bilingual rules and regulations is troublesome in visiting rooms, where periodic misunderstandings occur between inmates, their family visitors, and security personnel. Of importance, too, is the need for Spanish-speaking priests and ministers to serve the religious needs of the Hispanic inmates. The commitment to rehabilitation goals for inmates requires that a high priority be given to the development of bilingual programs and staff in those facilities with a high percentage of Hispanic inmates. Recommendations for improving services to Hispanic inmates are appended. Two footnotes are provided.
Index Term(s): Correctional personnel; Hispanic Americans; Inmate academic education; Inmate Programs; Inmate religious affiliation; Inmate staff relations; Inmate visits
Note: Microfiche version of the document is under NCJ-78060.
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