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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 72199 Find in a Library
Title: Social Work and Criminal Justice - New Dimensions in Practice
Journal: Federal Probation  Volume:44  Issue:1  Dated:(March 1980)  Pages:64-69
Author(s): G Cunningham
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 6
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: Psychotherapy and one-to-one counseling in social work with criminal justice clients are defended, and new trends are discussed.
Abstract: Although psychotherapy and one-to-one counseling have been attacked as ineffective, the arguments against such techniques are sometimes political and not accurate reflections of the services being offered. Academic institutions and other service organizations are frequently dependent financially on grant research money, and the eventual findings of the research are often immaterial. The politics of funding are such that the funding resources are more anxious to make money available to constituencies with more clout than helping professionals. By claiming that a particular group has failed to demonstrate its effectiveness, funding resources can redistribute funds in other ways. In addition, many of the effectiveness studies reflected not so much the ineffectiveness of casework or psychotherapy as they did the ineffectiveness of the research methodology to measure such variables. These techniques often were ineffective and some of the problems experienced in applying counseling techniques to criminal justice clients were the result of narrow and unselective applications of treatment models which failed to consider the profound treatment significance of many routine probation officer interventions. Adaptations of existing models are needed to accommodate them to the realities of correctional practice. Application of new concepts arising from systems theory has helped the social work profession clarify the significance and implications of its long-term traditional focus on the 'personin-the-environment' and the nature of the interaction between the two. Social workers are also developing techniques of assessment and intervention focused on current functioning and ongoing social interaction rather than on psychosexual and early childhood development. Professional tasks involving advocacy and brokerage functions have been added to the traditional tasks of therapist, counselor, and teacher. Footnotes are included.
Index Term(s): Counseling; Effectiveness; Evaluation of evaluation; Mental health services; Probation or parole services; Psychotherapy; Social work; Social workers
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