Using a survey research design, the study investigated prisoner and prison officer attitudes towards a range of rehabilitative and leisure programs for prisoners within Darwin Correctional Centre. The sample consisted of 168 male prisoners, seven female prisoners and 49 officers. Demographic details were obtained from prisoners and from officers. Prisoners were asked to rate on a three point scale perceived anticipated personal benefit from participation in pre-release, crisis counselling, communicable diseases education, drug and alcohol counselling and education, violence/aggression, religious, parenting, hobby/recreation and sports programs. Aboriginal prisoners, who constitute 66% of the prisoner population were also asked to rate perceived benefit from participation in Aboriginal art, cultural and visitor programs. Officers were asked to rate perceived importance of the cited programs on a similar three point scale, as well as provide views regarding additional desired programs, interest in involvement in delivery of programs and barriers to program implementation. Four hypotheses were tested: that prisoners would perceive hobby/recreation and sports programs more positively than officers, that of the rehabilitative programs investigated, pre-release programs would receive the highest number of positive responses from prisoners, that of all the programs investigated, violence/aggression programs would receive the highest number of positive responses from officers, and that for prisoners, greater length of experience within the correctional system would predict less perceived benefit from participation in rehabilitative programs while for officers lenghtier correctional experience would predict less perceived importance of all prisoner programs. Responses were analysed using descriptive, correlational and inferential statistical procedures. The first three hypotheses were supported while the fourth was not. Numerous demographic variables were identified as significant predictors of attitude towards specific programs and results are discussed in the context of implications for implementation of appropriate programs.
|Date of Award||Apr 1997|