Thesis

79 Evaluation of MCD sessions Presence of moral dilemmas in prison work Some participants stated that MCD did not suit them because not all staff felt the need to discuss moral dilemmas. During sessions, facilitators and participants experienced the recognition and selection of a moral case as complex. Meanwhile, facilitators mentioned how there seemed to be plenty of moral dilemmas. An inventory of moral dilemmas of prison staff indeed showed that all disciplines experience dilemmas (Schaap et al., 2022). However, the staff was not always aware of it or reluctant to focus on these dilemmas. A part of the staff likely experiences a level of ‘moral blindness’ (Verweij, 2005), lacking awareness of moral dimensions and cases in their work. Research in mental health care mentions an increased insight into moral issues after attending MCD (Haan et al., 2018; Hem et al., 2015). Sometimes, it is necessary to structurally implement an ESS instrument, such as MCD, to help staff to gain awareness and insight in their moral dilemmas. Further strengthening the dialogical skills of prison staff It is possible that MCD – and its facilitators – provoke a different, more conscious way of communicating than during daily practice and team meetings in prison. This could explain why prison staff evaluates the dialogue in MCD as positive in quantitative data. Indeed, based on some critical scores by facilitators and our qualitative data, there seems to be room for further improvement of skills as active listening, letting each other finish sentences, and asking open questions. The overall lower scores of items on dialogical skills correspond to the fact that MCD participants themselves mentioned that staff should first learn basic dialogical skills before starting with MCD. As opposed to our expectations, facilitators evaluated participants’ dialogical skills with lower scores in the last sessions compared to earlier sessions. This did not correspond with qualitative data from facilitators, who sometimes mentioned a progression in dialogical skills. Perhaps, in the quantitative data, a response shift occurred. A response shift was defined by Sprangers and Schwartz (1999) as a change in the meaning of the self-evaluation of a target construct, such as dialogical skills. Perhaps, response shifts occurred because the MCD facilitators expected more from participants as the series progressed. If developments stagnate or do not increase as expected, they might score lower for the same experience as before. Different MCD evaluations among professional disciplines of prison staff At DCIA, MCD was often considered a reflection instrument mainly suitable for management teams. However, the dilemma method received highly positive evaluations from prison staff from all professional disciplines. Still, not all teams felt MCD was suitable 3

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