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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The parolee and his "after-care" problems : an exploratory study of conditions encountered by men on parole which impede the process of rehabilitation, with some applications to after-care agencies, British Columbia, 1961 Spiro, Grant Philip

Abstract

This thesis is concerned with the problems of men discharged from prison on parole. The objective is to describe the broad contours of the subject and then to identify within these limits those problems of the parolee which appear most likely to affect his chances of successful rehabilitation. The major defects in our present system of parole are reviewed and some suggestions are offered for further research. This study is primarily exploratory in nature, as no attempt has been made to submit precisely formulated hypotheses to exact verification procedures. Ten major problems thought to be common to all parolees, their causes and their many ramifications are discussed. Extensive reference is made to previously published analyses of this subject. To supplement this discussion, various leaders in the field of after-care and several parolees were interviewed to provide further information for the analysis and illustration of the ten problem areas explored. The evidence gathered indicates that of the ten problem areas discussed, the problems of reintegration into the family and the community pose the greatest difficulty to the parolee and the after-care agencies; and that the other problems discussed serve in the main only to complicate these two critical areas. The study indicates that the key to solving these problems hinges on the parolee's mental picture of himself, which has been warped by his prison experiences. The study shows also that, contrary to public belief, rehabilitation generally starts only when the parolee is released, and not during incarceration. The value of parole lies in the fact that, through realistic and warm support, the parole supervisor can help the parolee to gain a better image of himself, and thereby assist him to meet the frustrations of social living in such a way as to allow and encourage emotional growth. The study shows a need for more realistic programs of education and training, as well as realistic pre-release programs for the inmate. Such programs would reduce the obstacles of rejoining the family and the community and help to reduce the tendency toward dependency shown by most parolees. Moreover, the study indicates that the success and the effectiveness of parole rests to a large extent on the attitude of the public. Without public good will corrections programs will never be able to succeed. This means that the objectives and results of good after-care programs must constantly be kept before the public in order to build their confidence in, understanding of, and support for these programs. The study shows the great need for further research in this field. Yet in the field of corrections and rehabilitation in Canada very little research has in fact been done. Some needed lines of research are indicated.

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