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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 62924 Find in a Library
Title: PRISON WELFARE OFFICER - A CASE OF ROLE STRAIN - GREAT BRITAIN
Journal: BRITISH JOURNAL OF SOCIOLOGY  Volume:23  Issue:2  Dated:(JUNE 1972)  Pages:221-235
Author(s): P PRIESTLEY
Corporate Author: Routledge and Kegan Paul Ltd
United Kingdom
Date Published: 1972
Page Count: 15
Sponsoring Agency: Routledge and Kegan Paul Ltd
London, WC1E 7DD, England
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: THE ROLE OF THE PRISON WELFARE OFFICER IN ENGLAND AND WALES IS EXAMINED WITH EMPHASIS ON THE CLASH BETWEEN THE COMPETING BELIEF SYSTEMS OF CASEWORK AND CUSTODY AND RESULTING STRAIN AMONG OFFICERS.
Abstract: THE PRISON WELFARE OFFICER'S ROLE IS THE PRODUCT OF MANY INTERACTING FACTORS INCLUDING SETTING, FORMAL ROLE DEFINITIONS, OTHERS' EXPECTATIONS, SELF-EXPECTATIONS AND ACTUAL BEHAVIOR. CURRENT ROLE STRAIN ON BRITISH PRISON WELFARE OFFICERS IS AGGRAVATED BY THE EMERGING EMPHASIS ON CLIENT-CENTERED THERAPY AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT SOCIAL WORK DEPARTMENTS, CONCURRENTLY WITH WELFARE OFFICERS' GROWING INVOLVEMENT WITH THE PENAL SYSTEM THROUGH PRESENTENCE REPORTING AND PAROLE SUPERVISION. THE PUBLIC EXPECTS PRISON ADMINISTRATORS TO PURSUE FOUR GOALS (RETRIBUTION, DETERRENCE, PROTECTION, AND TREATMENT), BUT THE FOURTH GOAL IS INCONSISTENT WITH THE OTHER THREE. STAFF MAY THEREFORE TRY TO NEUTRALIZE TREATMENT PROGRAMS RATHER THAN IMPLEMENT THEM. FORMAL JOB DESCRIPTIONS GIVING WELFARE OFFICERS MORE ADMINISTRATIVE THAN TREATMENT RESPONSIBILITY FURTHER CONTRIBUTE TO ROLE STRAIN. OLDER, LESS TRAINED OFFICERS TEND TO PROVIDE CONTROL-CENTERED TREATMENT, WHILE YOUNGER, MORE HIGHLY TRAINED OFFICERS TEND TO PROVIDE CLIENT-CENTERED TREATMENT. ALL OFFICERS AGREE ON THE GOALS OF AIDING REHABILITATION AND EMOTIONAL ADJUSTMENT AND DEALING WITH INDIVIDUAL NEEDS, BUT MOST OF THE OFFICERS' TIME IS SPENT IN MANAGEMENT FUNCTIONS. THIS DIVERGENCE REFLECTS AN EXTREME BUILT-IN ROLE CONFLICT. AMONG SOLUTIONS ARE RITUALISM AND CONFORMITY TO OTHERS' EXPECTATIONS, WITHDRAWAL FROM THE SITUATION, GRADUAL CHANGE OF THE SYSTEM, AND TAKEOVER OF THE PRISON SYSTEM. OVERALL, GREAT UNITY AND UNCEASING EFFORT ARE REQUIRED TO EFFECT MAJOR CHANGES. NOTES WHICH INCLUDE REFERENCES ARE INCLUDED.
Index Term(s): Correctional personnel; Custody vs treatment conflict; England; Individual behavior; Job pressure; Role conflict; Role perception; Wales
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=62924

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