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Social work roles in correctional services

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dc.contributor.author Mashabela, Manaso Pelmos
dc.date.accessioned 2008-10-17T13:09:43Z
dc.date.available 2008-10-17T13:09:43Z
dc.date.issued 2008-10-17T13:09:43Z
dc.date.submitted 2002-05
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10210/1226
dc.description M.A. en
dc.description.abstract In 1994 South Africa changed to a new political dispensation to guarantee a better life for all, including offenders. The new Constitution of the Republic of South Africa was adopted in 1996 and it makes provision for conditions of detention that are consistent with humane dignity. Social work as a profession also had to position itself in such a way that it defines its role within the confines of the democratic South Africa, and meet the new challenges of the new era. Possibly the most important characteristic of social work is that it is generic in nature and remains basically the same in whichever situation it is undertaken. Therefore there are no differences when social work is practiced in relation to the family, the child, the aged, the offender, the juvenile delinquent, the patient in the hospital, the mentally handicapped or in any other situation. Nevertheless, it is of the utmost importance that social work recognizes the particular requirements to which the social worker would be expected to respond and to adjust social work practice accordingly. The roles of social workers in correction are blurred and unclear. This study, therefore, is an attempt to define and clarify the role of social work in correctional services in relation to the offender with particular emphasis on rehabilitation. Rehabilitation of criminal offenders offers the criminal justice system a unique avenue of improvement. Despite the failures and abuses of the past, a revitalized concept of rehabilitation represents a creative opening in the repetitive mechanisms of a merely punitive system. There is an increasing demand for clear, explicit assessments, plans and reviews to minimize the risk of errors. Practitioners are required to write down what they are doing in more detail and to provide their principals with statistics to enable them to cost and evaluate the workings of the department. It is clear that if social workers in correctional services are to be accountable, a scientific approach is needed and effective training programmes must be in place to enhance the validity and reliability of the helping process. There has been an ongoing debate with regard to the efficacy of helping professions. There have been suggestions that the best helpers are those who stay abreast of the best in current theory and research and who constantly update their practical work through ongoing action research with their clients. Social workers have, until recently, retained a strong element of autonomy in their direct work with clients. Whereas the traditional punitive reaction enforces conformity to law on the basis of fear or pure calculation, rehabilitation creates in the offender the capacity for social participation and responsibility. en
dc.description.sponsorship Dr. W. Roestenburg en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.subject Rehabilitation of criminals en
dc.subject Corrections en
dc.subject Social work with criminals en
dc.title Social work roles in correctional services en
dc.type Thesis en

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