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Recreation in the authoritarian setting : a comparison and analysis of the recreation programs in the British Columbia Boys' Industrial School and the Saskatchewan Boys' School, 1949-1952 Spicer, Josephine Lydia Mingay

Abstract

This study is directed toward an analysis of the recreation programs in two Canadian Juvenile correctional institutions. Both programs are evaluated in the light of modern treatment principles and methods. The institutions selected for this project are the British Columbia Industrial School for Boys in Port Coquitlam, and the Saskatchewan Boys’ School in Regina. Following an introductory sketch of progress in Canadian correctional institutions generally, an outline of the over-all programs in the two specific Schools is discussed. A more intensive study of the various components of the recreation programs is then undertaken. The following methods of research were utilized in gathering the material for this study. Reading: books, articles, periodicals, unpublished papers, annual reports, government documents, correspondence. Interviews: with institutional personnel. Each interview was based on a schedule of questions. Comparative studies. Personal experience: Saskatchewan Boys' School, Juvenile Detention Home, Alexandra Neighbourhood House, Social Group Work agency, Vancouver. From a careful examination of the recreation programs in the two Schools, the author submits the following conclusions and recommendations. It is apparent that there is a definite trend toward the application of treatment principles and methods in both school recreation programs. This trend is quite evident in certain facets of programming. Other phases indicate a need for evaluation and revision. In the Saskatchewan Boys' School it appears that the structure and emphasis in the recreation program is in need of careful analysis by the administration. The author is of the opinion that reorganization of the program is necessary, with lesser emphasis on group-centered activities, and with the administration offering greater guidance in the development of programs. Many of the existing problems encountered in some aspects of the privilege system, program planning, and in organized team sports, would be substantially reduced. A thoroughgoing staff training program is also recommended. In the British Columbia School for Boys the program structure and emphasis appears to offer a sound measure of balance to the program diet. It is suggested, however, that greater involvement of the boys in short-term program planning would be desirable. A reduction of the number of members in the existing groupings appears necessary, if a treatment effect is to be realized. In "both Schools, the recreation programs could be greatly enriched by inclusion of additional individualized or special interest programs, expanded use of volunteer and/or specialist leaders in the British Columbia School, and introduction of such persons in the Saskatchewan School program. It is recommended also, that the administrations seek additional ways of building-in on the skills of the incumbent leadership. Every attempt to secure professionally trained social workers to fill leadership positions is also recommended.

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