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NCJ Number: 68226 Find in a Library
Title: SOCIAL WORK BEHIND BARS - POSSIBILITIES AND LIMITATIONS OF SOCIAL WORK IN CORRECTIONS INSTITUTIONS
Journal: NEUE PRAXIS  Volume:8  Issue:3  Dated:(MARCH 1978)  Pages:238-244
Author(s): W LUMMA
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 7
Format: Article
Language: German
Country: West Germany (Former)
Annotation: THE ROLE OF THE PRISON SOCIAL WORKER IN WEST GERMANY IS EXPLORED.
Abstract: THE OFFICIAL GOAL OF IMPRISONMENT REMAIN RETRIBUTION, DETERENCE, PREVENTION OF RECIDIVISM, AND GENERAL SOCIAL PROTECTION, DESPITE EVIDENCE SUPPLIED BY SOCIAL SCIENCE THAT IMPRISONMENT IS NOT AN EFFECTIVE MEANS TO THESE ENDS BUT ACTUALLY CONTRIBUTES TO DETERIORATION OF INMATES' SOCIAL RELATIONSHIPS. VARIOUS SOCIAL SCIENTISTS HAVE ATTRIBUTED DEVIANT BEHAVIOR TO GENETIC, SOCIAL, OR PSYCHOLOGICAL FACTORS, BUT LITTLE THEORY EXISTS ABOUT PRISON SOCIAL WORK. THE FUNCTIONS OF PRISON SOCIAL WORKERS ARE TRADITIONAL, ALTHOUGH SOCIAL WORKERS IN JUVENILE INSTITUTIONS HAVE ACHIEVED MORE INFLUENCE IN THE POWER STRUCTURE THAN THOSE IN ADULT INSTITUTIONS. PRISON SOCIAL WORKERS ARE USUALLY INADEQUATELY PREPARED FOR THE NATURE OF THEIR WORK, MUST FACE CHRONIC CONFLICTS IN THEIR GOALS, AND ARE OFTEN FORCED INTO ADMINISTRATIVE ACTIVITIES HAVING NOTHING TO DO WITH THEIR PROFESSIONAL COMPETENCE. WHILE PRISONERS EXPECT HELP AND SYMPATHY, THE PRISON ADMINISTRATION REQUIRES REGULATION OF SOCIAL PROBLEMS AND CONCRETE ASSISTANCE IN ORGANIZING PRISONERS' SOCIALIZATION. IN GENERAL, CORRECTIONS OFFICERS WANT SOCIAL WORKERS TO KEEP PRISONERS QUIETED DOWN. NONE OF THESE EXPECTATIONS CORRESPOND TO THE SOCIAL WORKERS' OWN VIEWS OF THEIR PROFESSION. RECOMMENDATIONS FOR IMPROVEMENT OF THE PRISON SOCIAL WORK SITUATION INCLUDE DEVELOPMENT OF A CLEAR CONCEPTION OF CORRECTIONAL SOCIAL WORK AND GOAL DEFINITIONS COMPREHENSIBLE TO BOTH CLIENTS AND THE HELPING PROFESSIONALS. SOCIAL WORKERS CONCERN FOR INDIVIDUAL INMATE PROBLEMS MUT BE RECOGNIZED AND UNNECESSARY RESTRICTIONS REMOVED FOR DEMOCRATIZATION OF PRISON LIFE. COMMUNICATIONS BETWEEN THE MIDDLE-CLASS ORIENTED INSTITUTION AND UNCOMPREHENDING PRISONERS MUST BE IMPROVED TO REVERSE THE DESOCIALIZATION EFFECTS OF IMPRISONMENT. PUBLIC RELATIONS WORK MUST ADVANCE UNDERSTANDING OF CORRECTIONS PROBLEMS AND ENCOURAGE REFORM. A BIBLIOGRAPHY IS FURNISHED. --IN GERMAN. (KMD)
Index Term(s): Correctional personnel; Custody vs treatment conflict; Germany; Role conflict; Role perception; Social work; Social workers
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=68226

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