Classification and Treatment by Moral Development Level

Murder, She Wrote, continued

Classification and Treatment by Moral Development Level, by Dr. G. Harry McLaughlin

In his proposal for a moral-development-based unit structure, Harry outlined an approach to treatment based on Kohlberg’s moral development theory – essentially, recognizing that moral reasoning develops through a sequence of progressively more sophisticated stages through exposure to reasoning at a stage only slightly higher than that at which the individual is currently functioning. Harry proposed, therefore, that inmates be assigned to living units based on their current stage of moral development and that the program in each unit be designed to expose the residents of that unit to the next higher level of morality. I think that I will let him tell you about it in his own words (in the next series of postings).

Proposal for a Program for the OCI Based on Moral Development Theory: Classification and Treatment by Moral Development Level, by Dr. G. Harry McLaughlin (1974)

 

This paper is in five sections, which have the following purposes:

  1. To summarize moral development theory.
  2. To summarize various approaches to moral education.
  3. To summarize the moral development programme tried out by the Connecticut Department of Corrections.
  4. To draw attention to the similarity between the Connecticut programme and the milieu therapy of the Ontario Correctional Institute (OCI) and show how, with the minimum of innovation, a similar programme could be set up in an OCI Treatment Unit. If a descriptive title is needed, it could be called a Values Programme, to avoid the Victorian overtones of “moral development”.
  5. To list other components which could be incorporated in the programme to ensure its effectiveness.

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