, Volume 8, Issue 2, pp 103-114,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 01 Aug 2012

Effects of Volunteering Experiences and Motivations on Attitudes Toward Prisoners: Evidence from Hong Kong

Abstract

Volunteers are playing an increasingly bigger role in correctional institutions both in Western settings and in the Hong Kong Chinese context, and yet previous studies have focused only on descriptive accounts of their motivation and satisfaction. Utilizing three samples in Hong Kong, namely prison volunteers (N = 54), non-prison volunteers (N = 146), and non-volunteers (N = 77), the present study compares these groups’ attitudes toward prisoners. Moreover, this study examines the correlations between volunteer satisfaction and volunteer motivation and attitudes toward prisoners. The results indicate that, compared to the non-volunteer group, both the volunteer groups exhibited more positive attitudes toward prisoners. For the prison volunteers, motivation to express important values and to help others correlated with the attitude that prisoners can change positively. The implications of the study are discussed.