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NCJ Number: 64480 Find in a Library
Title: GROUP WORK WITH PROBATIONERS - A STEPCHILD OF PROBATION WORK
Journal: BEWAEHRUNGSHILFE  Volume:26  Issue:3  Dated:(1979)  Pages:207-216
Author(s): H GOLDBRUNNER
Corporate Author: Deutsche Bewahrungshilfe
Friedrich-Ebert-Strasse 11b
West Germany (Former)
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 10
Format: Article
Language: German
Country: West Germany (Former)
Annotation: THE USE OF GROUP INTERACTION IN WEST GERMAN PROBATION ASSISTANCE IS EXPLORED.
Abstract: DESPITE INDIVIDUAL, HIGHLY SUCCESSFUL INSTANCES, GROUP INTERACTION HAS NOT BEEN ACCEPTED AS AN ALTERNATIVE TO THE ONE-TO-ONE INTERACTION OF CONVENTIONAL PROBATION ASSISTANCE. TOO MANY PROBATION OFFICERS (MISTAKENLY) BELIEVE THAT THEY WILL HAVE TO SURRENDER THEIR AUTHORITY TO THE WILL OF A MAJORITY; PROBATIONERS, IN TURN, FEAR THAT THEY WILL BE EXPOSED TO THE CRITICISM OF A HOSTILE GROUP. EXPERTS DEFINE THE GOALS OF GROUP INTERACTION DURING PROBATION AS A CLARIFICATION OF SOCIETY'S MISTAKES WHICH LED TO CRIME, AND, AT THE SAME TIME, OF THE OFFENDER'S OWN TRANSGRESSIONS. CONTRARY TO GROUP THERAPY WITH ITS EMPHASIS ON UNCONSCIOUS ACTIVITIES, GROUP INTERACTION FOCUSES ON THE CONCRETE SITUATION AND ON THE SOCIAL FACTORS (E.G., UNEMPLOYMENT, FEAR OF RECIDIVISM, SOCIAL STIGMATIZATION, LONELINESS) WHICH LEAD TO THE OFFENDERS' PREVIOUS FAILURES. IN THE BEGINNING THE MEMBERS OF THE GROUP TEND TO BE EXTREMELY INSECURE, TRYING TO OVERCOME PREVIOUS NEGATIVE INTERACTION PATTERNS AND GROPING FOR NEW MODES OF EXPRESSION. THEY WANT TO SEE POSITIVE RESULTS IMMEDIATELY, AND A TIMELY SUCCESS (E.G., THE GROUP FINDING AN APARTMENT FOR AN EX-OFFENDER) STRENGTHENS THE TRUST IN THE GROUP CONSIDERABLY. LATER THE GROUP GAINS INCREASING IMPORTANCE IN A PROBATIONER'S LIFE; GROUP NORMS AND MODES OF COMMUNICATION DEVELOP, AND, AS MEMBERS GROW IN SELF-ESTEEM, THEY ARE ABLE TO RECEIVE CRITICISM MORE EASILY. STRONG RESERVATIONS HAVE BEEN VOICED AGAINST ACCEPTING DIFFICULT PROBATIONERS (ALCOHOLICS, DRUG ADDICTS) INTO A GROUP; HOWEVER, IF THE PROBATION OFFICER CAN SUPPLY THE PROPER GUIDANCE, AND IF THE NUMBER OF PROBLEM CASES PER GROUP IS LIMITED, REHABILITATION IS POSSIBLE EVEN THEN. IN ANY CASE, A SUITABLE OFFICIAL FRAMEWORK MUST BE ESTABLISHED FOR INCORPORATING GROUP WORK INTO PROBATION ASSISTANCE. THE ARTICLE CONTAINS A SHORT BIBLIOGRAPHY. --IN GERMAN. (SAJ)
Index Term(s): Behavior modification; Germany; Group behavior; Guided group interaction; Probation or parole officers; Probationers
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=64480

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