Although in some ways communities appear to be increasingly more risk aversive and punitive in their attitudes toward offenders, the development and proliferation of a range of rehabilitation programs that aim to address the problems that lead to offending represents an important component of contemporary criminal justice policy in Australia. This research is based on the premise that the social climate of a prison will exert a profound influence on rehabilitative outcomes. In this paper, the authors present their validation of the Essen Climate Evaluation Schema (EssenCES) measure of prison social climates and the findings offer further support for measuring and identifying the means by which a prison’s social climate can be assessed. It is proposed that the measure be routinely used to audit the social climate of a prison or prison unit on an annual basis. This would enable changes over time to be assessed, standards and targets set, and the need for additional resources or interventions identified and responded to. Further research is required to establish how a social climate might be modified or changed in a way that would enhance rehabilitative outcomes.
Field of Research
160202 Correctional Theory, offender Treatment and Rehabilitation 1602 Criminology
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