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Questionnaire Assessment of Inmate Recreational Preferences in a County Jail

NCJ Number
D V Walakafra-Wills
Date Published
6 pages
Results of a questionnaire distributed to 362 county jail inmates to assess, evaluate, and prioritize recreational preferences indicate that differences did exist for different ethnic/racial groups. The sample included 50 percent whites, 25 percent blacks, 20 percent Hispanics, 3 percent Native Americans, and 1 percent Asians. Basketball was among the least desirable activities for whites, Hispanics, and Asians, but it was the single most desirable activity for blacks and somewhat desirable for Native Americans. Video games were the third most desirable activity for whites, Hispanics, and Asians, but among the least desirable for blacks and Native Americans. The four most desirable activities for blacks and Native Americans were almost the same: basketball, dominoes, weight lifting, and cards. Hispanics and whites appeared to desire basically the same activities: weight lifting, cards, video games, and exercise activities. Asians identified weight lifting as their most desirable activity, and ping pong, video games, and reading were preferable to such activities as pinochle, basketball, and pinball. As inmate age increased, a preference for the more physical and active activities declined. There was little difference in activity preference according to length of time in jail. Gang membership was associated with the need for strong physical and competitive sports. Homosexual inmates preferred more passive than competitive activities. Two references and one diagram are included.