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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 217892 
Title: Preparing Social Workers for Practice in Correctional Institutions (From Social Work in Juvenile and Criminal Justice Settings, Third Edition, P 341-350, 2007, Albert R. Roberts and David W. Springer, eds. -- See NCJ-217866)
Author(s): Andre Ivanoff; Nancy J. Smyth; Catherine N. Dulmus
Date Published: 2007
Page Count: 10
Sponsoring Agency: Charles C. Thomas
Springfield, IL 62704
Sale Source: Charles C. Thomas
2600 South First Street
Springfield, IL 62704
United States of America
Type: Instructional Material; Issue Overview
Format: Book Chapter
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: After discussing the characteristics of a correctional institutional environment and the social worker's role in this environment, this chapter discusses the training necessary to prepare a social worker for a career as a correctional professional.
Abstract: The majority of rationales for incarceration focus on punishment rather than rehabilitation, consistent with current public sentiment. This contrasts with the social-work emphasis on treatment and behavioral change through counseling, education, and activities that encourage and reinforce positive behaviors. Opportunities for social work in correctional institutions take two forms: "supportive" and "linkage." "Supportive" involves the provision of mental health services, substance abuse treatment, vocational rehabilitation, and education. "Supportive" work involves specialization in one of these fields. "Linkage" functions for social workers pertain to the acquisition or brokerage of the range of services an individual needs. This work involves the development of a comprehensive plan tailored to the needs of the individual, which is then coordinated and monitored by the social worker. In the course of performing these functions, social workers must understand that security regulations in criminal justice settings are designed to maintain order and reduce the threat of violence and other harms to staff and inmates. This does not preclude the performance of rehabilitative functions, but it does mean they must be performed within the parameters of security regulations. Few college social work schools offer academic courses or an organized fieldwork curriculum on practice in correctional settings. Before beginning such work it is important for a social worker to understand the nature of the setting and how selected social-work tasks can be adapted to and performed within the setting. 29 references and 8 suggested readings
Main Term(s): Correctional Personnel Training
Index Term(s): Inmate Programs; Prison climate; Prison conditions; Social work; Social worker casework; Social worker training; Social workers
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