Bpcc-mgmt of corrections- course project-interview

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Interview with a Correctional Administrator

For your required Course Project in this class, you are to conduct a personal interview with an administrative/supervisory employee currently working for an adult correctional facility (local, state, or federal facility).  

In your paper, you will need to identify the individual, the agency, date and time of the interview and submit a summary of these interview questions.  Do not just LIST the questions and answers.  Put this in a SUMMARY format.  See examples.  Example Student Interview Project.docx 


Sample Forms attached

Phone interviews are permitted. 

Most criminal justice professionals are happy to help  if you identify yourself as a student. 

Here are the questions that you need to ask:

  1. What is the position title of your current employment?
  2. How long have you been employed?
  3. How long have you been in your current position?
  4. What type of education and/or work experience is required for your position?
  5. What are the average working hours?
  6. Are there opportunities for advancement? If so, what position title?  How many years, on average, are needed prior to being eligible for advancement?
  7. What special skills are required for the position in which you are currently employed, such as computer skills, public speaking skills, etc.?
  8. What primary job responsibilities do you perform on a daily basis?
  9. What made you decide to pursue employment in corrections?
  10. Does this position require overtime and, if so, what is the average number of hours per week or month?
  11. What are the things you like best about your job?
  12. If there was one thing you could change about your job, what would it be?

Sample Interview Write-up

As a prerequisite to writing my university discourse paper, I interviewed Professor Bob Weisberg, who’s a professor of political science at OSU. My “humanities” discipline is law, and although Weisberg doesn’t teach in law school, he has a law degree, used to work as a lawyer, and has taught law-related courses in the past, so it seemed like he’d have a good understanding of writing in the legal profession. As it turned out, he’d written legal briefs in several different lawsuits on behalf of his clients, and I also found out that he published a law review article in the UCLA Law Review in 1998.

Weisberg started the interview by asking what type of law I was writing about; this took me aback, because I was just planning to write about law in general, since I figured it would be similar across various legal fields. I told him this and he said that there were many commonalities across the different types of law—criminal, environmental, civil rights, etc., but that the differences were significant as well I indicated that I was primarily interested in the overarching characteristics, and he said this was fine.

Throughout the interview, Weisberg kept stopping to consult different legal books, and this was the part of the interview I found most surprising. Weisberg said that the vocabulary used in law is so specialized that even lawyers have to look it up all the time. I mentioned I thought this was what people learned in law school, and Weisberg said law school is more about learning legal concepts, and that the main trick with the vocabulary is having the resources to find the vocabulary you need.

According to Weisberg, the crux of solid legal writing is the ability to be straightforward while also being passionate. He said this is a difficult balance to attain, because people often get vague when they try to state a point meaningfully. One example he gave me was that if a person was writing a legal brief to a judge, he or she might write, “The only reasonable interpretation of the evidence is in favor of my client. In order to be consistent with prior court rulings, you must rule in favor of my client.” This is good because it is being persuasive and logical. A person would not want to write, “In the interest of justice, my client must be freed! If you do not do so, it will fly in the face of law and justice across America.” For law, this is considered “over the top” because it relies more on emotion than on logical reasoning. However, Weisberg asserted that unlike science and engineering writing, legal writing does place value on persuasive rhetoric and emotional appeals; it’s just that they need to be grounded more heavily in logical reasoning than emotion.

I asked Weisberg about point of view specifically, because I know the Supreme Court writes its opinions in first person. He said that judges do this when they hand down an opinion, but that regular attorneys almost never do. For instance, when giving a brief to a judge, a person should not write, “I think Miranda v. Arizona relates directly to this case;” he or she should delete the “I think.”

One other aspect of the interview I wanted to note was that throughout the entire thing, Weisberg kept reiterating that legal writing isn’t “half as difficult as people think it is.” He said that in a way, it’s like learning a foreign language—but an easy one, and that if students are interested in doing legal research or going to law school, that they should not be intimidated by the language. “Lawyers aren’t half as smart as people think,” he told me at one point.

Overall, I enjoyed this interview and Weisberg was able to point me towards other resources I will be able to use to research my other papers, namely Black’s Law Dictionary, Emanuel Legal Briefs, and Legal Writing in a Nutshell, two of which I have found at Valley Library already.

General Topics You May Want to Address in Your Write-up:

Why you interviewed this person

This person’s experience

Most surprising thing you learned from the interview

Most interesting thing you learned from the interview

Something your interviewee told you that you already knew

Significant quotes from the interview and what they mean in the context of your paper

Any other specific information from the interview that you’d like to relate

Student Interview Project

Interview of Senior Accountatnt

by Sandra Student

Interviewee: XXX, Senior Supervisor
Contact Information: ABC Corrections Facility
City, State, Zip Code
Phone __________ E-mail ___________

Date/ Location:

Duration of Interview:


What types of writing do you do as a Senior Accountant?

We generally use preformatted correspondence for writing addressed to clients. The use of computers has made this very efficient. Many types of writing such as reports and engagement letters, are preformatted due to content guidelines from AICPA as well as firm standards.

For client correspondence that is not preformatted, we have a little more creative freedom, but the manager or partner in charge will review the letter before it is sent. They will let you know if they want you to make changes. I have had a partner review a letter and say “We should change the tone here.”

I also use a lot of E-mail both within the office and to clients. A lot of clients prefer this. This is only for less formal correspondence, such as a request for information on a certain area. E-mail is great for Technical Bulletins or things that need to get to everyone in the office, because you can send it to everyone with one button. No phone tag.

Oral Presentation

Do you give oral presentations?

I do not do very much formal oral presentation. I do a great deal of informal oral presentation to my audit teams. As a senior, I am responsible for coordinating and budgeting the audit. I do a lot of planning for the report. I assign tasks to the first and second year staff. This is mostly in a small group or one on one.

The most important skill for new staff is interpersonal skills. We try to read clients’ reactions and tailor our communication to their tastes. We try to tell if they are the “Chit Chat” type or the “no- nonsense” type. If they like to chat we do not want to offend them by rushing in and out. A no nonsense executive might find chit chat annoying. We try to fit the clients’ needs.

Technical skills are very important. We maintain a high standard but the applicant pool is full of students with the necessary grades; when we recruit, we look for communication skills as well.


Does Deloitte & Touche have any formal training programs for communication?

We have extensive training in Technical, Written, Computer, and Communication skills. I am doing an evaluation of a first-year staff member’s Verbal Skills this week. It is my job to offer her constructive criticism. What she does well, where she could improve, how to work on it, and whether she is meeting her goals.

How often do you work in teams?

I would say 95 percent of my work is with a team. Once in a while there is an engagement that is just a review of a company. One person may be sent out for something like this.

Changing Technology

How is technology affecting communication within the profession?

We have just made a large switch in our technology base. Everyone in the audit department has an IBM Thinkpad. We have changed over to a new software that uses Excel and Word on Windows 95. It is called Audit System 2. It lets us link all kinds of documents, both text and spreadsheet. It can check the numbers in the text portion against the spreadsheet. It has an Index that is like a file manager for each client. My E-mail is linked so that I can send it the office. No more printing. This is new technology and I’m sure others will pick up on it; but for now we have an advantage.

As a Senior, What skills are you concentrating on developing?

I am concentrating on my interpersonal skills, time and resource management as well as organizational skills.

Other Information

I really enjoyed speaking with XXXX. We spoke for about an hour, and she offered to review and critique my resume before internship interviews. I will definitely take her up on this! She also gave me some good advise[advice] on buying my first suit.

XXXX agreed to send me some sample documents over the weekend; I will include them in our group report.


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