The Development of a Self-Analysis Instrument to Aid the Counselor in Prerelease Counseling of Prison Inmates
Christensen, Linda S.
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Problem: Frequently inmates of penal institutions are not equipped to deal with the stress of marital, family or community life upon release. There appears to be, as well, a severe shortage of counseling tools directed specifically toward the soon-to-be-released individual. Procedure: Therefore, a research project was designed to investigate what counseling methods are currently practiced and what problems are actually faced by the newly-released individual. Findings: This investigation culminated in the development of a self-analysis instrument to be completed by the inmate and his spouse/parent/or other person significant to him. The completed instruments would then be used in a confrontational three-way counseling session that would ultimately provide the inmate and the other significant individual with a realistic view of his own assets and liabilities, his alternatives for the future, and his expectations for himself and others within the community. Conclusions: Upon the basis of the data accumulated in this study it is concluded that: (1) little has been done specifically in prerelease counseling practice or research, (2) what counseling that does take place usually takes the form of group counseling or psychotherapy, and that (3) any counseling received in prison is preferable to no counseling at all in helping the inmate to make a successful life outside prison. The most common problems faced by the newly-released individual were found to be those involving: (1) alcohol and drugs, (2) a low self concept on part of releasee, (3) family communication difficulties, (4) employment, and (5) finances. Recommendations: Future studies could be directed toward the practical application of the Self-Analysis Instrument within the prison setting and the observation of post-release behavior of those individuals completing the Self-Analysis Instrument.
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