The effects crisis counseling has upon the attitudes of inmates who are granted or denied parole

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Kluttz, John Robert, 1929-
Hendrickson, Donald A.
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The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects crisis counseling had upon inmate's attitudes, who were granted or denied parole, as measured by a specifically designed semantic differential scale, immediately following their appearance before the May 1970 Indiana State Parole Board.Subjects for the study were one hundred and two inmates at the Indiana Reformatory located in Pendleton, Indiana. They were selected on the basis of two primary criteria: eligibility for a hearing before the Parole Board and a willingness to participate in the research project.The six semantic differential scale concepts used in the study were unanimously agreed upon by representatives of the Indiana State Department of Corrections-Treatment Division, the Superintendent of the Reformatory, and the Reformatory Psychologist. The following six concepts were determined to be the most significant affecting the treatment and rehabilitation process of inmates: (1) myself, (2) other inmates, (3) reformatory staff, (4) parole board members, (5) parole process, and (6) the reformatory.The semantic differential, constructed as prescribed by Osgood, et al., (1957, pp. 77-81), was used to measure the attitudes of the inmate subjects toward the six identified concepts.The subjects in the two experimental groups, those granted and denied parole, participated in a thirty minute crisis counseling session with a male doctoral intern from Ball State University after appearing before the parole board. The control groups, those granted and denied parole appeared before the board, but did not receive crisis counseling.The semantic differential scale was given forty-eight hours prior to the inmates' meeting the parole board, and within one hour after meeting the parole board and undergoing crisis counseling depending upon group assignment. All pre- and posttests were administered by qualified psychometrists. Effort was made to avoid identifying anyone who participated in the study. As soon as the process of completing the instruments was completed, they were carefully analyzed.Analysis of the data indicated that the inmates who experienced crisis counseling, when compared to the control group who received no crisis counseling, made no significant positive gains in their attitude toward the six selected concepts. Therefore, it was concluded that thirty minutes of crisis counseling had a limited effect upon attitudes of inmates who participated in the counseling sessions.Although some of the regression of the scores may be accounted for by error in the measuring instrument, it is possible that the general reformatory environment or climate had some negative effects on the attitudes of the confined men. It is also possible that meeting the parole board would produce either positive or negative effects that might override the short session crisis counseling.A multiple linear regression analysis was computed to determine the significance of the relationship between the semantic differential scores and the action taken by the parole board. o significant regression appeared.To determine if attitudes changed between the pre-and posttest measures as a result of being granted or denied parole, an analysis of variance was performed. The analysis of variance indicated that for the inmates denied parole their attitudes remained relatively stable. Significant improvement was shown for those inmates granted parole.To determine if crisis counseling had an effect on the attitudes of inmates after meeting the parole board, an analysis of covariance was computed statistically controlling for pretest responses. No significant differences were found between the crisis counseling and no crisis counseling groups. However, attitudes significantly improved for those inmates granted parole.The results and many questions stimulated by this investigation indicated many areas that might warrant further research.