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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 98402 Find in a Library
Title: Power of Public Support - A Handbook for Corrections
Date Published: Unknown
Page Count: 69
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Corrections
Washington, DC 20534
Grant Number: EV-4; EV-5
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Based upon pilot projects in Los Angeles and San Diego Counties (California), this handbook guides probation officials in building constituency support for probation through public relations programs, media relations, and legislative action.
Abstract: The opening chapter discusses the importance of probation's building constituency support to help in competing for scarce criminal justice dollars. The eliciting of constituency support is indicated to rest upon defining probation's function and marketing it as an indispensable service. Another chapter describes the phases of the support-building cycle. These include (1) monitoring and analyzing probation services (factfinding); (2) disseminating probation information to the public (public information); (3) influencing the public's perception of probation (public education); (4) shaping public opinion, molding agency image, and advertising action plans (public relations); (5) recruiting citizens to help with probation services (citizen involvement); and (6) soliciting the support of community organizations (community involvement). A chapter delineates the probation model around which to rally a constituency: a tough, safe, inexpensive alternative to incarceration. Two chapters consider organizing and developing effective techniques for using the media to present a realistic and positive image of probation. Mobilizing to influence legislation relevant to probation is described, followed by a review of the lessons learned in the pilot constituency-building projects in San Diego and Los Angeles Counties. Finally, three case studies indicate how constituency-building efforts resolved the following problems confronting probation agencies in three California jurisdictions: budget cuts, a lack of cooperation among juvenile service agencies, and community opposition to the relocation of a work camp operated by the probation department. The appendix lists interagency agreements involving California probation departments, and a 28-item bibliography is provided.
Index Term(s): California; Case studies; Community support; Interagency cooperation; Media support; Press relations; Probation; Public relations programs
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