Where Are All the Young Men and Women of Color?: Capacity Enhancement Practice in the Criminal Justice System

By Melvin Delgado | Go to book overview
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19
Lessons for Social Work
Practice

Social work practice has a rich history of incorporating new changes resulting from new knowledge and research. Practice, regardless of the population group or modality, seeks to bring about change in behavior and social circumstances. I believe that the profession, when addressing undervalued groups, does not have the luxury of focusing on narrow clinical issues and needs to the exclusion of efforts to bring about social and economic justice. This dual focus, I believe, separates social work from other counseling-related professions. Consequently, my recommendations for clinical, or micro-focused, practice are biased in favor of this duality of focus. Any chapter that specifically prescribes changes in practice will not be without its share of critics and controversy; it seems as if changes and criticism go hand in hand in any profession, and that is to be expected.

Capacity enhancement practice with the correctionally supervised requires that social workers be prepared to modify existing forms of intervention and create new ways of serving groups and communities; thus it requires new types of competencies. These new competencies necessitate the acquisition of new knowledge content in the classroom and the creation of field placements to facilitate translation of theory into practice. Social work practice settings will require social workers to use a wide variety of methods and approaches to reaching consumers. Knowledge of the

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