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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 70855 Find in a Library
Title: Role of Volunteers in the Penal System
Author(s): R G Whittfield
Corporate Author: Howard League for Penal Reform
United Kingdom
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 17
Sponsoring Agency: Howard League for Penal Reform
London, N19 3NL, England
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: This British paper looks at the ways in which the penal systems of various countries use the help of individual citizens, or groups, working voluntarily in an unpaid capacity and the possible implications; the particular role that volunteers can fulfill; and the prospects for their future use.
Abstract: Opportunities for volunteers to work in the penal system can be found in offering face-to-face help to people who may need friendship and support on a one-to-one basis or through a group; working in management, either in setting up and sustaining voluntary projects or on probation and after-care committees; and in groups such as the Howard League. Reasons for using volunteers include the following facts: (1) it allows professionals to be used more effectively; (2) it widens the range of skills, abilities, and resources available to offenders; (3) more time can be spent with offenders, resulting in probably more effective intervention; and (4) it provides an essential element of community involvement. Other reasons are that volunteers save money and that people have the right to 'give.' Two distinct trends seem to be developing for the use of volunteers in the correctional field: parallel systems, in which volunteer groups are seen as autonomous and responsible for certain areas of work; and complementary systems of volunteers, common in Great Britain, in which the volunteers are trained and supported by a State agency, in order to provide a more comprehensive service to offenders. The paper discusses voluntary work in practice and uses case histories to illustrate points. A total of 10 references is provided.
Index Term(s): Australia; Belgium; Canada; Correctional facilities; Denmark; Great Britain/United Kingdom; Sweden; United States of America; Volunteer programs; Volunteer training; Volunteers
Note: Background paper for the Sixth United Nations Congress on Crime Prevention and the Treatment of Offenders, Caracas, Venzuela, 1980
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