skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 92077 Find in a Library
Title: Psychologist's Role in Maintaining Existing Functions and Purposes of Correctional Institutions, or in Altering Them (From Role of Psychologists in the Criminal Justice System, P 16-36, 1983, Grant Wardlaw ed. See NCJ-92075)
Author(s): M Hart
Date Published: 1983
Page Count: 21
Sponsoring Agency: Australian Institute of Criminology
Canberra ACT, 2601, Australia
National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
Sale Source: Australian Institute of Criminology
GPO Box 2944
Canberra ACT, 2601,

National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Document: PDF
Language: English
Country: Australia
Annotation: By virtue of their knowledge and skills, correctional psychologists in Australia should be at the forefront of correctional paradigm revolution, which should involve the abandonment of the paradigm that represses and degrades inmates in a purely custodial institution in favor of a paradigm of inmate participatory management.
Abstract: The structure of a system is determined by the basic principles governing the relationships of the system elements. Significant correctional reform must impact the system's structure. Psychologists, by virtue of their role, training, and professional tools, are in the best position of all correctional employees to participate in structural change. First, they can analyze the nature and impact of the correctional system's existing structure. This involves the investigation of modal personality patterns of both staff and inmates and how they are affected under the existing system. Psychologists also usually possess the appropriate skills to assess the organizational variables which define the elements of the structure of the existing system. Data should be obtained on conformity to norms and the sacrosanct assumptions in operations. Second, psychologists have the expertise to devise and evaluate experimental alternative paradigms for the management of inmates and prisons. Psychologists have the research data to show that the traditional structure of custodial institutions has little if any positive impact on inmates of staff, and there is also a sizable amount of research data to indicate that the assumptions underlying the custodial system are not accurate. Psychologists should be involved in the implementation of experimental units structured under inmate self-management or participatory-management principles. Such experimental units have already proven their worth. Psychologists can expand the impact of these alternatives by becoming deeply involved in the new programs, educating correctional staff about their results, and lobbying for political support for the new concepts. Four references and 36 bibliographic listings are provided.
Index Term(s): Australia; Correctional reform; Inmate self-government; Psychologists role in corrections
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.