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NCJ Number: 201911 Find in a Library
Title: Social Work in the Criminal Justice System: An Ambiguous Exercise of Caring Power
Journal: Journal of Scandinavian Studies in Criminology and Crime Prevention  Volume:4  Issue:1  Dated:2003  Pages:84-100
Author(s): Kerstin Svensson
Date Published: 2003
Page Count: 17
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: Sweden
Annotation: This article discusses the concept of caring power within the Swedish probation service.
Abstract: The history of the Swedish probation service is outlined to illustrate the structure of human interaction that has emerged within the criminal justice system. Different roles have emerged to define the helper and the helped. The author explains that divergent discourses exist that define probation services both as punitive and as help. She argues that both discourses can co-exist, and in fact work together, to create a caring power. The concept of caring power is based on Foucault’s concept of pastoral power, which is basically defined as exerting power through kindness. The purpose of the argument made by the author is to show that elements of power and elements of caring can co-exist in a structure of caring power. The structure and function of the probation service is to offer both support and control; this is best accomplished through caring power. However, the use of caring power within the probation service requires amenable clients. Caring power is something that emerges through the interactions between two actors, in this case the probation worker and the offender. When the two actors are not able to unite, caring power is not able to be exercised. As such, it is important that probation workers strive to create a congruent relationship with the offender in order to enable a caring power to emerge. References
Main Term(s): Probation effectiveness
Index Term(s): Probation or parole services; Probationers attitudes; Sweden
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