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Training Correctional Educators: A Needs Assessment Study

NCJ Number
Journal of Correctional Education Volume: 52 Issue: 1 Dated: March 2001 Pages: 23-27
Sonia Jurich; Marta Casper; Kim A. Hull
Carolyn Eggleston
Date Published
March 2001
5 pages
This article discusses an assessment, conducted by the Virginia Department of Correctional Education (DCE), aimed at defining the training needs of DCE teachers
The Commonwealth of Virginia, Department of Correctional Education (DCE) funded a project to develop a three-day training for new correctional educators. To organize the training, DCE requested an in-depth study be conducted of its teachers’ needs and expectations. The study was conducted over a five-month period and consisted of three components: focus groups with teachers, inmates, and administrators; a survey of all DCE teachers based on the focus groups findings; and classroom observations at juvenile corrections facilities. In the focus group, survey and observations, DCE teachers expressed their need for training that was multidisciplinary and went beyond knowledge acquisition. Improved communication skills were high on their list of priorities, as well as more knowledge on the different facets of human behavior and techniques for avoiding burn out. The needs assessment findings were used to develop the three-day conference and provided important information on policy issues that would inform the DCE main office in future decisions including streamlining operations, reducing the amount of paper work for teachers, and facilitating communication between corrections and correctional education. References and table