ERIC Number: ED195903
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979
An Assessment of the Youthful Offender's Academic Needs.
Humphrey, Dennis A.; Mersky, Laura B.
Several theories postulate that factors such as socioeconomic status, environmental and genetic influences, and psychological traits account for juvenile delinquents' tendency to be poor readers. The academic needs of the Massachusetts Department of Corrections youthful offender population were explored to determine the need for reading programs in correctional institutions. Four types of data were collected: (1) achievement test scores in reading, math, and spelling; (2) students' attitudes toward reading; (3) instructors' perceptions of student needs; and (4) teachers' attitudes toward working in a correctional setting. Achievement and attitude instruments were administered to inmates (N=155) between the ages of 16 and 21 who expressed interest in participating in an educational program. Attitude and perception scales were administered to 12 teachers. Results indicate that the youthful offender population is academically deficient in reading, spelling, and math. Respondents appeared to be undecided about their feelings toward reading, but expressed more positive than negative attitudes. Comprehension was identified by all teachers as the major problem area for their students, followed by spelling and punctuation. Correctional teachers indicated no strong positive or negative attitudes toward working in a correctional environment. (NRB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
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