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Title:A practical-participatory evaluation of a racial diversity education program for police recruits
Author(s):Valgoi, Maria Judith
Director of Research:Neville, Helen
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Neville, Helen
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Cha-Jua, Sundiata; Greene, Jennifer; Rounds, James; Schlosser, Michael
Department / Program:Educational Psychology
Discipline:Educational Psychology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Multicultural Competency Training
Police Training
Program Evaluation
Abstract:The purpose of this study was to use a practical–participatory evaluative method (Cousins & Whitmore, 1998) to develop and critically evaluate a diversity education program for police recruits. The Policing in a Multiracial Society Program (PMSP) was developed on the basis of the literature and using the input of a core academic team, veteran police officers, and community members. The PMSP is an approximately 10-hour intervention incorporated into a Midwestern police training institute curricula. The intervention was developed over the course of a year in which stakeholders met to discuss the goals and objectives of the program and to provide feedback about its implementation with two cohorts of recruits. A quasi-experimental design was used to assess the influence of the PMSP intervention on a third cohort. Recruits participated in either the PMSP intervention (n = 34) or a Nonracial Diversity intervention (n = 37). Participants’ pre- and posttest scores were compared on colorblind racial beliefs (or denial and minimization of racism), ethnocultural empathic feelings, and equitable policing practices/skills. Counter to the hypotheses of this study, there were no significant differences on posttest racial colorblindness and policing practices/skills scores across the two intervention groups. Also, surprisingly, recruits in the PMSP intervention group displayed lower levels of empathetic feeling toward people of color at posttest compared to their Nonracial Diversity intervention group counterparts. Additionally, the levels of ethnocultural empathy among the PMSP intervention participants decreased from pretest to posttest. These findings suggest that 10 hours of exposure to racial diversity education is insufficient in producing desired changes compared to changes that have been demonstrated in previous studies in which officers completed a semester long college course (Bornstein, Domingo, & Solis, 2012). Several recommendations for future development of the PMSP are included.
Issue Date:2016-07-11
Rights Information:Copyright 2016 Maria Valgoi
Date Available in IDEALS:2016-11-10
Date Deposited:2016-08

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