Journal of Moral Education 12 (1):33-50 (1983)

Abstract In 1975, the first author became director of a group home for ten delinquent boys. Prior to this time, the home operated on a behaviour?modification philosophy. But during the first author's directorship, the home operated on the ?just community? philosophy stressing moral discussion and participatory democracy in making and enforcing rules and in resolving interpersonal conflicts. During this ?just community? period, residents moved up an average of one?third of a stage in their reasoning on the Kohlberg moral judgement interview. This advance in stage was comparable to that found in good developmental moral education programmes for non?delinquent high school youth. Comparison groups of offenders were studied in a secure behaviour modification programme and a secure transaction analysis programme. Insignificant increase in residents? moral reasoning was found in these programmes. A moral atmosphere interview was also administered to residents in each of the programmes. The just community programme was perceived as highest on the following dimensions: 1. Amount of moral discussion and dialogue 2. Amount of resident power and responsibility for rules and decisions 3. Amount of concern about fairness of rules and policies 4. Amount of self?perceived moral behaviour change The transaction analysis programme was intermediate between the just community programme and the behaviour modification programme on these dimensions. Tentative conclusions are advanced with regard to policies for institutionalized youthful offenders
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DOI 10.1080/0305724830120104
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Collected Papers.Colin McGinn - 1988 - Philosophical Review 97 (2):278.

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