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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 49200 Find in a Library
Title: PROBATION OFFICER AS SOCIAL WORKER
Journal: BRITISH JOURNAL OF SOCIAL WORK  Volume:7  Issue:4  Dated:(WINTER 1977)  Pages:433-442
Author(s): R J HARRIS
Corporate Author: British Assoc of Social Workers
United Kingdom
Date Published: 1977
Page Count: 10
Sponsoring Agency: British Assoc of Social Workers
Birmingham, B5 6RD, England
Type: Historical Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: AN ARGUMENT FOR RELIEVING OF THEIR SUPERVISORY FUNCTION IS PRESENTED, WITH ATTENTION TO PROFESSIONAL AUTONOMY VERSUS PUBLIC ACCOUNTABILITY, SUBMISSION TO THE COURTS, AND ORGANIZATIONAL EXPECTATIONS.
Abstract: THE ORIGINS OF THE PROBATION SYSTEM IN GREAT BRITAIN ARE TRACED TO THE PENAL REFORM MOVEMENT OF THE 1800'S. AT THAT TIME THE MOVEMENT WAS UNASHAMEDLY RELIGIOUS AND CONSISTED OF LAY COUNSELORS SUPERVISED BY LAY COURT PERSONNEL. THE EXISTING STRUCTURE OF THE PROBATION SERVICE HAS NOT KEPT UP WITH THE CHANGES IN TRAINING, EXPECTATIONS, AND THE TYPES OF OFFENDERS SERVED. THE BIGGEST PROBLEM IS THAT PROBATION OFFICERS ARE INCREASINGLY SUBJECT TO DEMANDS FOR PUBLIC ACCOUNTABILITY, AS MEASURED BY RECIDIVISM RATES. NEITHER COUNSELING NOR SOCIAL SERVICES GUARANTEE LOWER RECIDIVISM RATES. SERVICE IS GEARED TO PERIODIC REPORTS FROM OFFENDERS, WHETHER OR NOT INDIVIDUAL SITUATIONS WARRANT IT. SOME OFFENDERS MUST REPORT WEEKLY BECAUSE THE COURT HAS ORDERED THEM TO DO SO, REGARDLESS OF INDIVIDUAL NEEDS, WHILE OTHER OFFENDERS WHO COULD BE HELPED BY THE AGENCY ARE DENIED SERVICES BECAUSE THE COURT HAS NOT ORDERED PROBATION. AS A CONSEQUENCE, SOME OFFENDERS GO UNATTENDED WHILE PROBATION OFFICERS SPEND A DISPROPORTIONATE AMOUNT OF TIME DOING TASKS FOR WHICH THEIR TRAINING HAS NOT EQUIPPED THEM. THE SOCIAL SERVICE REQUIREMENTS OF COURT ORDERS SHOULD BE MONITORED AND FULFILLED BY COURT PERSONNEL OTHER THAN TRAINED PROBATION OFFICERS. ALSO, THERE IS A NEED TO ESTABLISH, AS A VALUE, THE IMPORTANCE OF SOCIAL WORK PROVISIONS AND COUNSELING FOR OFFENDERS, IRRESPECTIVE OF THE EFFECT OF THESE MEASURES ON THE CRIME RATE. REFERENCES ARE PROVIDED.
Index Term(s): Alternatives to institutionalization; Great Britain/United Kingdom; Probation or parole officers; Probation or parole services; Reform
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=49200

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