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NCJ Number: 78216 Find in a Library
Title: Sense and Nonsense of Probation Assistance in Living Groups
Journal: Bewaehrungshilfe  Volume:27  Issue:3  Dated:(1980)  Pages:205-212
Author(s): K Baudach
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 8
Format: Article
Language: German
Country: West Germany (Former)
Annotation: The advantages of probation assistance provided in living groups rather than at counseling offices are described.
Abstract: While probation assistance has long been viewed as an ideal and cost-effective means of crime control, the approach has proved disappointing in practice. Probation officers carry such heavy caseloads that they are unable to find solutions to probationers' problems, among them drug abuse, uncontrollable depression or aggression, and unemployment because of a lack of job skills. Special living groups for probationers have grown out of these needs. Both the courts and juvenile social agencies view living groups as a means of changing the environment which has contributed negatively to the development of young offenders and interferered with their socialization. The probation officer sees the living group as an opportunity for the probationer to correct professional and personal deficiencies in an optimal situation. As a rule, probationers are willing to accept living group placement as an alternative to the failure implicit in having to serve prison time. Living groups may take a number of forms, including short-term transition homes for juveniles unexpectedly released from detention or rejected by their families, short-term institutions for occupational training, and long-term treatment centers to correct social deficiencies. Living groups must remain small (under 24) and maintain contacts to the surrounding community so that residents can be integrated into normal society. At least three social educators should be employed for every five or six person group. Such small living groups promise to offer youths a chance for remedial socialization at a reasonable price.
Index Term(s): Germany; Group homes; Probation or parole officers; Rehabilitation; Social reintegration
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