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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 78218 Find in a Library
Title: Experiences With the Foundation of a Social Therapeutic Living Group for Released Prisoners
Journal: Bewaehrungshilfe  Volume:27  Issue:3  Dated:(1980)  Pages:220-231
Author(s): H Wegener
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 12
Format: Article
Language: German
Country: West Germany (Former)
Annotation: Practical experiences in founding a private therapeutic residential group for released offenders are recounted.
Abstract: The home was founded in Lueneburg, West Germany, by a local association for prisoner and probation assistance. After several attempts at arranging housing for released prisoners, the association decided to found a living group with the necessary social supervision to allow released convicts to lead a life of social responsibility without criminal activities. The home was intended to provide temporary housing (6 months) and assistance in correcting social deficiencies. A special committee worked for 6 months on planning the project's financing, selection criteria, size, personnel, and treatment approaches. At the same time a house with appropriate rooms and a location in central Lueneburg had to be found and purchased. Renovation of the house was to be undertaken by the new tenants, but they lost interest, and the work had to be completed by professionals. Despite this experience, however, it is still advisable to include releasees both in house renovation tasks and furniture selection. The house was run by a board, a household committee which included residents, and a house planning committee. The staff was to encourage an atmosphere of warmth in which work was shared by residents and counseling was provided by specialists. The project had to be financed by the organization itself, as no public agencies were willing or able to supply funds. Financial aid was derived from increased court fines, contributions of private parties, a charity auction, careful money management, and contributions from other private organizations. Informal evaluation of the experiment indicates that an association's voluntary activities are reduced as the organization becomes more professional and that human factors are as important as specialized education in staff. Living groups should not be founded just to relieve housing shortages for released convicts; the costs of the living group should be in proportion to its usefulness. Finally, special efforts must be made by staff to prevent such living groups from becoming isolated from public agencies and the community.
Index Term(s): Germany; Halfway houses; Post-release programs; Rehabilitation; Social reintegration
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