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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 99769 Find in a Library
Title: Evaluation of a Volunteer Program in a Women's Prison
Author(s): A H Morgan; B Cilento
Date Published: 1983
Page Count: 62
Sponsoring Agency: Australian Research Council
Canberra ACT, 2601, Australia
Type: Program/Project Evaluation
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: Australia
Annotation: This evaluation assesses the short-term effects on female inmates of their participation in a social skills training course taught by volunteer instructors at the Queensland (Australia) women's prison.
Abstract: Early in 1983, five new social skills classes were selected for participation in an evaluation over 4 months. The classes were an interpersonal discussion group, art, public speaking and debating, typing, and alcohol awareness. The teachers recorded weekly attendance, participant responses to inquiries about the benefits of the class and how it could be improved, reasons for attending or not attending, and general observations and spontaneous comments from inmates and officers. At the end of the program's second year, prison officers rated the program's effects on the prison environment. Eighty-six percent of the women inmates (24 of 28) participated in at least one of the groups at the time of the evaluation. The most frequently reported reason for attending was to acquire skills and knowledge. Some also reported that it helped break prison routine and assisted in coping with prison. These findings suggest the program increases self-esteem and helps reduce the frustrations of prison life. Also, the integration of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal women in the groups facilitated a lessening of racial segregation in other aspects of prison life. Advantages are noted for the use of volunteer instructors in such programs. Class content outlines and the inmate evaluation questionnaire are appended. Tabular data and 32 references are provided.
Index Term(s): Australia; Female inmates; Program evaluation; Social skills training; Volunteer programs
Note: Report to the Criminology Research Council
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