MARCH 6TH - 10TH, 1996

How to Collect Research Data to Save our Jobs

Gail McCall Assoc Prof. University of Florida at Gainsville.

Zimmer Bill
Two years ago we had some problems, now we are terminal
To even just continue doing what you are doing you must justify it.
"You in the field are going to have to provide data" Darlene Veltri quote
We don't want administration to do the research

Where do we begin
  Two types of research: basic and applied
  We need to do applied research

If you are a warden or supt. and somebody is taking your stuff, where do you start?
1. Historical Research
    What happened when rec programs were taken away in the past?
    Can we draw similarities to that?

     In earlier investigations of prison riots over the last 15 years -
     the lack of or poor recreation programs were mentioned in the 
     top ten problems by the inmates in all of the riots.
     It was mentioned in the top 3 by over half of the institutions
     This was up with food and medical care.

     Develop a questionnaire to ask inmates how they are using
     their time now that some activities are gone. How does that
     differ from before?
     Is the frustration level increasing?

     One thing about questionnaires and inmates - verify the findings
     People who sign their name as Fred Flintstone may be blowing smoke at you

2. The Report
    You provide the data, let the administration draw the conclusions
    Be sure your work is well written
    Be sure it is very neat
    Get immediately to the point

3. Comparative Analysis
    Compare one situation to another
    Go back and check discipline reports for 2 to 5 years back
    Now is the time to do this
    Keep checking them as the money tightens and programs go down
    If you collect the data now, you can begin to show disciplinary actions
       data vrs. recreation programs available.

She broke the session up into groups of 6 people
She asked each group to list 5 concerns that are facing your job and
some of the areas we might do research in .
Some examples to start us off were: older inmate population, diversity,
growing female population, violent gangs, etc.

Cleveland's Group
1. Lack of documentation to justify programs
2. Co-workers perception of our job as rec staff
3. Does the administration support our programs?
4. Diversity of training (need specialized training in rec)
5. Professionalize staffing

My Group
1. Inmate idleness
2. Incidents in recreation
3. Chart the use of the weight room
4. Examine sick call attendance

Group 3
1. Medical Profile - cut medical costs
2. Type of weapons used in assaults 
How many used rec equipment in assaults?
3. Group interaction
4. Public perception
5. Assaults in Recreation - need more staff 

Gail spoke on public perception. She was asked to work with a legislator
when a youth facility in planning had a pool in it. The legislator did not feel
it was appropriate.  When she brought up the idea, the youth were going to
be eventually released and only 10% of them now knew how to swim and
that many would get involved in swimming upon release. People who now how 
to use leisure time will do better. These youth have a reduced possibility
of just  "hanging out" and perhaps attacking his daughter.He felt it was
like a better idea after discussing it.

At the next conference she is going to suggest we hold two sessions
on this topic. She will be trying to get some Univ. of FL students to 
work on it.

She pointed out, she has a chapter in the new book "Research about Leisure,
Past, Present, and Future" 2nd edition by Lynn A Barnett editor.
Printed by Sagamore Publishing 1995   ISBN 0-915611-96-1

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