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NCJ Number: 78088 Find in a Library
Title: Staff Drift - A Problem in Program Integrity
Journal: Criminal Justice and Behavior  Volume:8  Issue:2  Dated:(June 1981)  Pages:223-232
Author(s): V S Johnson
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 10
Type: Program/Project Evaluation
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Implementation of a therapeutic program can be undermined by the problem of the staff drifting over time from implementation of a specific rehabilitative program toward becoming absorbed in meeting the day-to-day needs of the inmates.
Abstract: A log of recorded contacts was made from 10 staff assigned to counselor roles in working with men in the Dade County (Fla.) Pretrial Detention Center. The contacts fell into the categories of therapeutic community meetings (TC's) held to resolve personality or behavior problems of the participants, nontherapeutic community meetings (NT's), and individual contacts (IC's) regarding such topics as the inmate's request for information on his trial date, needs for commissary or clothing, or requests for phone calls. The TC and NT contacts tended to diminish in frequency during the program while the rate of IC significantly increased. TC's were positively, while the IC's were negatively, correlated with the occurrence of incident reports. Thus the staff shifted their focus to individual contacts and their attention to the immediate needs of the prisoners and away from long-term personality and behavior change. To what extent this drift was detrimental to the program is unknown. However, it appears that no one else within the system was taking responsibility for daily inmate needs, needs which may have to be met before attention can be directed to behavior problems. Yet these needs must be met independently of formally conceptualized psychological intervention if such efforts are not to be subverted by staff drift. Tables, figures, and eight references are supplied.
Index Term(s): Correctional personnel; Inmate Programs; Inmate staff relations; Program evaluation; Rehabilitation; Role conflict
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