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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 78616 Find in a Library
Title: Limitations of the Internal Therapy Model in Educational Corrections - Illustrated With the Example of Discussion Psychotherapy - Report on Practice
Journal: Kriminologisches Journal  Volume:12  Issue:2  Dated:(1980)  Pages:123-132
Author(s): H vonSchweinitz
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 11
Format: Article
Language: German
Country: West Germany (Former)
Annotation: Problems in the use of client-oriented discussion therapy in West German juvenile corrections facilities are outlined to illustrate the futility of treatment within prison settings.
Abstract: Carl Roger's client-centered therapy is generally considered the most effective means of counteracting negative effects of juvenile incarceration such as loss of social skills, of self-confidence, and of independence. The treatment model seeks to stabilize individuals, to reconstruct their self-concept, to alter their social behavior, and to develop their ability to deal with conflicts. However, the success of the technique depends on a number of outside factors such as the structure and goals of the corrections facility. Use of the therapy form in prison is complicated by differences between the goals of prisons and the goals of therapists. The therapists' attempts to improve young inmates' self-image and confidence is undermined by the total planning of everyday prison life. Furthermore, if therapists were to be successful in their treatment, inmates would rebel openly against the circumstances of prison life. Organizational problems arise because the therapy model requires a particular constant setting with voluntary client participation in small groups. Prison authorities and custodians however, consider therapy a leisure activity for any number, interfere with punctuality and attendance requirements, and relocate and interrupt sessions at will. Young inmates also frequently encounter difficulties in adapting to the demands of group discussion. Moreover, the total control of inmates by the prison administration on one hand and by the prison subculture on the other poisons the therapeutic atmosphere. Given the existing structures in juvenile corrections facilities, therapy for the special problems of youthful inmates are doomed from the start. Even with the joint efforts and good will of officials, therapists, and prisoners only superficial therapy can be accomplished in this setting. As the therapeutic model of juvenile corrections provided for by law is inoperable, the functions of juvenile corrections must be rethought and practical alternatives to institutionalization studied. Notes and a 20-item bibliography are supplied.
Index Term(s): Correctional institutions (juvenile); Custody vs treatment conflict; Effects of imprisonment; Failure factors; Germany; Group therapy; Juvenile Corrections/Detention effectiveness; Juvenile rehabilitation; Juvenile treatment methods
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