NATIONAL CORRECTIONAL RECREATION ASSOCIATION 29TH ANNUAL CONFERENCE MYRTLE BEACH S.C.
MARCH 6TH - 10TH, 1996




Here are the notes from some of the sessions I attended plus some business items.

  • Recent Development in Correctional Recreation
    Thursday Keynote Address Darlene Veltri
    Educational Administrator FBOP

  • Bodybuilding Without Weights
    Thursday Keynote Speaker Lee Haney
    Eight Time Mr. Olympia

  • Reinventing Correctional Recreation and Revitalizing Correctional Recreation
    Dr. Jimmy Calloway VP Government Affairs, Atlanta GA and Lonny Moore Sr. Deputy Asst. Dir. for Industries , Education, and Vocational Training FBOP.

  • How to Collect Reearch Data to Save our Jobs
    Gail McCall Assoc Prof. University of Florida at Gainsville.

  • New ERA for NCRA - Correctional Major is Developed
    Kelly Asmussen Asst. Prof. and David Dunnigan Instructor of Physical Education
    Both from Peru State College NE.

  • Trends for Correctional Recreation Today and Tomorrow
    Gail McCall Assoc Prof. University of Florida at Gainsville.

  • Proposed New Mission Statement

  • Sites for 1997 and 1998 Conferences

  • Parting Comments from Strength Tech


    SITES FOR UPCOMING CONFERENCES


    The 1997 Conference will be in Fort Collins Colorado.

    FCI El Reno made a proposal to host the 1998 Conference in Oklahoma City


    STRENGTH TECH PARTING COMMENTS


    We watched all the talk about the need to justify correctional recreation, the thoughts of creating another mission statement for the association, talk of recidivism (inmates returning to prison), need for increased documentation of programs, and heard Gail McCall's trends talk where she said our mission is "To Enhance the Quality of Life". From my manufacturing background it seems to me that what we have going on here is a process. Inmates come into prison, recreation is one of the processes that works on them, and then inmates are returned to society. To make the process better we have to:

  • Have a consistent documented process so it is the same each time
  • Have some measurements to assure that it is the same
  • Measure the output of the process
  • Now we can begin to improve the process by making some changes and measuring the output. The system is under control.

    Today it is as if we are building parts without a drawing of what the final part is to look like, all we do is work on it a while and send it on. We do not even have a measurable goal for the inmates upon release. We must develop a goal, It may vary from inmate to inmate. It might be set in conjunction with them. But a measurable goal is set. A prescription of recreational activities is developed for them to help them meet their goal, records are kept, and adjustments are made as necessary. These goals might be things like: peace of mind, fitness level, blood pressure, reducing aggression, stopping smoking, getting along with others, developing a craft that could be used as employment outside, getting clean and staying that way, etc. They do need to be quantified into something measurable that recreation can help with.

    Currently, we are not measuring the output of the process! The Quality of Life of the inmates needs to be measured in prison when they first arrive, at least intermittently during their stay, when they leave, and after they leave.

    Currently they leave into a black hole, no data comes back. Follow-ups must be done to assess the success of various programs. If we are trying to make a stand on recreation helping them form good leisure time habits, reducing recidivism and improving their quality of life we must measure it!

    I don't claim to know the variables or procedure but I think help could be obtained from various Universities, states, the National Institute of Justice, and others to study this process and begin getting some hard data. This data could then be used to make the process even better and not only make a true difference in the lives of the inmates, but make our jobs indispensable as well.

    The bottom line is that modern quality control techniques need to be applied to the process of Correctional Recreation.

    On a lighter note, we enjoyed the conference very much. The trip was a little rough (lost luggage on both ends, a hotel (Best Western Landmark) under major reconstruction, cold wet weather at the beach, and jackhammers across the hall). It was unusual being in a tourist/festival location a month before the rush. Everybody was training people and merchants were begging for our business. They've built an Eagle or a Wings swimwear / novelty store on every corner and then in the middle of the block. For recreation, we went down south to the Hammock Shops in Pawleys Island, up north to Barefoot Landing (very nice large outdoor waterside adventure mall) and west of town to Waccamaw Pottery's fine store (Lora went back again one night for more fudge but the fudge store was closed). I also worked out Wednesday evening at the very nice Gold's Gym in Myrtle Beach. One night we went to the Olive Garden and one night we saw a movie (Up Periscope).

    It was our first attempt to try to setup an internet demonstration in our tradeshow booth. We caried the software with us and rented a computer from EDR Industries in Myrtle Inlet. We demonstrated the site off of files vrs. being actually online. We had lost a little sleep trying to make sure we could counter everything that might go wrong in the setup but it went off beautifully. We will now be doing this at other shows as well.

    Gary was honored to receive the 1996 Achievement Award at the Saturday Honors Banquet for the establishment of this web site.

    Lora voiced some opinions at the general meeting about vendor show times that were well received. She suggested:

  • two days of exhibiting vrs. 3. That a couple hours be spent over lunch with the vendors on one day and some time be alloted on the next day as well. This would allow late attendees to visit the vendors and others to revisit.

  • That the exhibits be on the same floor as the meetings

  • That when selecting an exhibit hotel, find one with an exhibit area that is easy to move large pieces of equipment (such as the equipment brought by MMI) into from trucks outside.

  • She also encouraged them to visit with the other vendors to get their input before changing the dates / hours of exhibiting.


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