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Toward Job-Related Inservice Training in Corrections - Reflections on Designing Training Programs

NCJ Number
Federal Probation Volume: 44 Issue: 2 Dated: (June 1980) Pages: 48-57
Y Cohn
Date Published
10 pages
A design is offered for developing a job-related training program to increase the professional competence of correctional staff for improved quality of service, rather than for meeting organizational needs of the administration.
The rational purposes of inservice training are to impart the potential trainees with new knowledge, to train staff with new skills, and to effect attitude change whenever existing staff attitudes interfere with service delivery. A comprehensive training program requires a specialized training unit which develops its own dynamics in response to the ever changing needs and priorities of the corrections field. Unfortunately, hidden purposes of the administration can undermine overt purposes; such hidden motives include organizing inservice training programs simply to enhance the status of the service organization. Yet hidden purposes may also be in good faith; e.g., to improve staff morale, increase group cohesivenes, or to promote needed change. Any purpose that inspires improvement of service delivery is welcome. The program should be designed around job analyses to ascertain what knowledge and skills are needed, and whether the trainee has attitudes which may interfere with successful performance. Joint investigation of program needs will inspire insights into practice by both staff and trainers. In delivering the training program, reading materials should be used, old knowledge should be integrated with the new, a general overview of underlying principles should provide a framework for the new material, many different forms of teaching should be used such as lectures, films, field trips, or symposiums, and the program trainer should be carefully selected. Finally, ongoing evaluations of the training program will help to show if objectives are being met and change is being effected. Eight references are provided.