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METHODS OF TREATING OFFENDERS. TOKEN ECONOMY ANGER MANAGEMENT. Describe and evaluate two ways of treating offenders including: - the token economy programme and one other. TOKEN ECONOMIES.

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  2. Describe and evaluate two ways of treating offenders including: - the token economy programme and one other.

  3. TOKEN ECONOMIES • Token economy programmes are used to obtain desirable behaviour in closed institutions such as prisons, and they are used for juvenile and adult offenders. • They are a form of behaviour modification. • These programmes started in the 1960’s ,given the success of the use of learning theories in changing behaviour.

  4. A token economy programme involves a system of rewards being set up for desired behaviour, sometimes with punishments to discourage behaviour which is undesirable. • Rewards are usually tokens or points, and these can be periodically exchanged for something that the individual wants. • This is an important part of the programme as the rewards must genuinely reward the person.

  5. Desirable behaviour such as co-operation and compliance is reinforced with the use of tokens. • These tokens have no intrinsic value and are called secondary reinforcers. • They can however be exchanged for primary reinforcers which are things that are wanted by the person. • When used in prisons, many of the programmes also use negative reinforcement and punishment in order to reduce undesirable behaviour such as non compliance and aggression. Typical negative reinforcement would be removal of privileges, such as watching TV or going to the exercise yard, while a typical punishment may be isolation.

  6. generalisation • Generalisation is part of learning theory principles and is important when talking about token economies. • The idea is that desired behaviour, once reinforced and established in an institution, would be generalised to outside the institution so that appropriate behaviour would be established. • Generalisation in learning theory is when a behaviour learned in one situation is transferred to another, or when learning of one behaviour is transferred to a similar behaviour.

  7. PROCEDURE OF A TOKEN ECONOMY PROGRAMME It is very important that there are clear definitions of: • what is a desired behaviour • what is a token • how tokens are allocated • what is a reward • how there will be gradual changing of the giving of tokens to shape the behaviour • how many tokens there are for each reward • how the reward will be removed once the behaviour is achieved

  8. Your task • Imagine you are implementing a token economy programme in a prison. • On your tables, come up with 5 behaviours that you would like to be followed, the rewards you will use (i.e. how many tokens are needed, what will the tokens be swapped with), and any punishments that can be used if behaviours aren’t followed. • You can present your token economy programme in any form you wish – you can act it out by using role-play, you can produce a poster, you can write them on the board, or simply explain it to us etc…

  9. EVIDENCE • Hobbs & Holt (1976) conducted a study which involved delinquent boys.

  10. Aim • To Discover The Effects of a Token Economy Programme on the Behaviour of Delinquents in Cottage Settings

  11. Sample • 125 delinquent males committed to the Alabama Boys Industrial School (ABIS). • ABIS is a state training school for delinquents and is located in an urban area. Boys reside in five independent cottage units • Age range 12 to 15 years • The boys had charges ranging from truancy and being uncontrollable, to arson and homicide.

  12. Target Behaviours • Staff in the cottages agreed on a number of target behaviours. • These included • following rules in group games, • completing chores, • following cottage rules, • interacting with peers • line behaviour (walking in a straight line and following instructions).

  13. Data Collection • The boys’ names were listed on a daily behaviour chart - cottage supervisor marked each behavioural category • The boys were told that staff were taking records. • Signs were posted listing the criteria. • Boys in each cottage were rated on each target behaviour by two staff members

  14. Tokens and Reinforcers • Each day the supervisor counted the tokens each boy had earned. • The boys went to a token economy store weekly and exchanged their tokens for a variety of reinforcers including: • Drinks • Sweets • Games • Cigarettes • OR tokens could be saved in bank and exchanged for more expensive reinforcers – trips, going home

  15. Control • The program was introduced to three cottages • A fourth cottage was not implemented with the token economy system • Could be compared to the other three cottages to see the effectiveness of the prgramme

  16. Results • Data was collected over 14 months • The token economy resulted in an increase in the mean percentage of appropriate (target) behaviours for each cottage with no noticeable improvement in the comparison cottage. • In cottage A appropriate behaviour increased from a baseline mean of 66% to a treatment mean of 91.6%. In cottage B from a baseline mean of 46.7% to 80.8% and for cottage C 73.2% to 94.2%.

  17. Evaluation • Sample? • Experimental Design? • Extraneous Variables? • Ethics? • Behaviour after release? • Judgement of target behaviours?

  18. EVALUATION • GENERALISABILITY – • Token Economy programme carried out on juvenile delinquents at a training school • May not generalise to adults in an actual prison environment

  19. Evaluation • RELIABILITY – • Target behaviours – dependent on staff observations • May get observer bias • But did get two staff members to rate each boys behaviour to increase reliability.

  20. Evaluation • APPLICABILITY – • Token Economy Programme was successful in increasing desirable behaviours in the short-term (whilst at the school) • May be useful for behaviour modification in the education system • Programme may be used in prisons to improve behaviour of inmates, but unsure due to sample used in this study.

  21. Evaluation • VALIDITY – • Cant be sure that they were measuring effect of token economy programme on behaviour • May have been due to attention from staff, competition with others, OR • Offenders may be responding to the negative aspects of token economies as opposed to the positive rewards ALSO – Only know success of programme in short-term, what about after release?

  22. Evaluation • ETHICS – • Delinquents rewarded for behaviours that were just convenient for staff (i.e. line behaviour) – no benefit of behaviour for juveniles. • Is it right to control behaviour? • Who judges whether a particular behaviour is desirable or undesirable? • Are the delinquents being treated like animals in a lab?

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