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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 69608 Find in a Library
Title: Deviant Roles and Social Reconnection
Author(s): E Studt
Date Published: 1968
Page Count: 25
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Document: PDF
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Social work in prisons is viewed as a means of reconnecting inmates with society; and the tasks and goals of prisoners, social workers, and prisons are discusssed under this new views.
Abstract: The correctional process is understood as a period of transition, or status-passage, with distinct phases as the prisoner adjusts to prison and works toward becoming a morally responsible, free citizen. Most normal status-passages, such as engagements or convalescences require a coach to assist the individual. In today's fragmented society, however, especially difficult status-passages such as the correctional process require a professional helper such as a social worker. In view of this new definition of the inmate's role, the tasks of correctional institutions should be to establish conditions encouraging the prisoner's task success. Under this new task definition, an essential job of social workers will be to help prisoners reconnect with society, live in a morally responsible manner, and mobilize relationships; also, the inmate will need to complete status-passage and be freed. Several experiences in a prison for young adults test the new task definition. To encourage morally responsible living, 130 prisoners randomly selected were housed with 12 to 15 staff. A community (C-Unit) was created in which much responsibility was delegated to prisoners and the staff-prisoner hierarchy abolished. The prisoners subsequently developed a pride in their community, refused to riot with other prisoners, began working for better services for fellow C-Unit members, and devised many community activities. C-Unit prisoners worked best together when the staff set them a good example. However, C-Unit deteriorated during the second year due to the imposition of traditional prison values and practices. Post-release implications under the new task definitions are also discussed.
Index Term(s): Correctional personnel; Correctional reform; Inmate organizations; Inmate peer counseling; Inmate Programs; Inmate self-government; Prisoner's rights
Note: Paper presented to a National Association of Social Workers Leadership Training Program, Chicago, Illinois, April 18, 1968. To be published by National Association of Social Workers in 1969 as part of a volume of papers presented at two yearly sessions of this program.
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