Thursday, June 07, 2007

More NCJRS Abstracts, June 7, 2007


NCJ 218324
Joseph R. Carlson; George Thomas
Burnout Among Prison Caseworkers and Correctional Officers
Journal of Offender Rehabilitation
Volume:43 Issue:3 Dated:2006 Pages:19 to 34

This study compared occupational burnout between prison caseworkers and correctional officers and examined reasons for the high turnover of caseworkers. The findings show that prison caseworkers have higher levels of burnout than correctional officers, with "burnout" defined as impersonal, negative, and cynical evaluations of self and others in occupations that involve intensive interactions with other people. Burnout led to a greater rate of turnover in caseworkers compared to correctional officers. The caseworkers in the two prisons studied identified the following main reasons for leaving the prison or the profession: the need for more money (98 percent), lack of support from management (60 percent), and stress and burnout (24 percent). Suggestions for reducing burnout for caseworkers are to fill vacant positions, keep caseloads manageable, provide stress-management training, increase salaries to be competitive with the private sector, and improve communication between caseworkers and management/policymakers. The study involved 42 caseworkers and 227 correctional staff employed in 1 prison for men and 1 prison for women in a Midwestern State. A questionnaire was developed and administered to obtain demographic information and determine the presence of burnout. Burnout among caseworkers and correctional officers was measured with an instrument developed by Maslach and Jackson (1981). 2 tables and 26 references

NCJ 218325
Dorota Wnuk; Jason E. Chapman ; Elizabeth L. Jeglic
Development and Refinement of a Measure of Attitudes Toward Sex Offender Treatment
Journal of Offender Rehabilitation
Volume:43 Issue:3 Dated:2006 Pages:35 to 47

This article describes the development of an instrument for measuring public attitudes toward sex-offender treatment and presents results from the testing of its internal consistency and validity. Of the original pool of 35 items, 15 items were found to function well statistically and theoretically, forming 3 internally consistent factors that captured attitudes toward sex offenders' incapacitation, the ineffectiveness of sex-offender treatment, and the mandated treatment of sex offenders. As anticipated, there was a significant correlation between attitudes toward incapacitation and the ineffectiveness of treatment, but these factors did not correlate with mandated treatment. This suggests that the beliefs that sex offenders should not be treated and that treatment does not work are not systematically linked with attitudes toward mandatory treatment. Future steps for further establishing the reliability and validity of the proposed scale should include an evaluation of its performance in other populations, testing sensitivity to changes that occur through psychoeducational intervention that targets public attitudes and knowledge of sex-offender treatment, and evaluation of the functioning of the rating scale. The sample used to test the scale for assessing public attitudes toward the treatment of sex offenders consisted of 170 undergraduate students at an urban New York City University. The majority of the students were female (68 percent) and Hispanic (43 percent). An initial pool of 35 items was developed on the basis of statements commonly encountered by the authors regarding sex offenders, as well as the modification of items used in other attitudinal scales. The 35 items were placed on a 5-point rating scale. 2 tables and 34 references

NCJ 218290
Brent Snook; Joseph Eastwood; Paul Gendreau; Claire Goggin; Richard M. Cullen
Taking Stock of Criminal Profiling: A Narrative Review and Meta-Analysis
Criminal Justice and Behavior: An International Journal
Volume:34 Issue:4 Dated:April 2007 Pages:437 to 453

This article reports results from a narrative review and a 2-part meta-analysis of the published research literature on the effectiveness of criminal profiling (CP). Results of the narrative review suggest that the CP literature is made up mainly of common sense justifications for CP rather than empirical research regarding its effectiveness. Findings from the first meta-analysis showed that self-labeled profiler and experienced investigator groups did not outperform comparison groups in predicting offenders’ perceptions, physical attributes, offense behaviors, or social habits and history. However, the expert group performed marginally better than the comparison group at predicting overall offender characteristics. The second meta-analysis revealed that self-labeled profilers outperformed comparison groups at predicting overall offender characteristics, perceptions, physical attributes, and social history and habits, but were not significantly better than comparison groups at predicting offense behaviors. The authors note the wide range of methodological and conceptual problems within the CP research literature and argue that until proven otherwise by empirical and reproducible studies, CP appears to be an extraneous and redundant pseudoscientific technique. The narrative review involved an examination of 130 CP articles located through an electronic search of PsycINFO and Criminal Justice Abstracts databases. The first and second meta-analysis involved the secondary analysis of four CP studies that met the research criteria, which was: (1) use of an experimental scenario; (2) the comparison of expert profiler groups with comparison groups; (3) the report of statistical information; and (4) had a dependant variable that could be converted into a common effect size. The authors call for more empirical and stringent research concerning the effectiveness of CP for criminal investigations. Table, figure, notes, references

No comments: