Key Values, Principles, and Goals
The challenges human services professions face, and for that matter the nation as a whole, in addressing the needs of those who have been incarcerated or are under some other form of correctional supervision necessitate a new approach to conceptualizing interventions. The ever-spiraling costs of building and maintaining prisons, not to mention the human toll on prisoners, their families, and communities, require the development of bold initiatives that serve both to prevent crime and to effectively address the needs of offenders in U.S. society.
Helping professions, and not only social work, must reach out to offenders, and do so in a manner that systematically builds upon their assets. Although this chapter focuses on the social work profession, much, if not all, that is addressed is also applicable to other helping professions interested in better serving those under correctional supervision. Thus, every effort is made to broaden the appeal of the chapter to non–social work audiences without losing the focus on social work, the book's primary audience. There is little question that social work must form working alliances with other helping professions in order to be successful in the criminal justice arena. The profession, for example, has successfully achieved that goal in the law enforcement arena. However, the correctional field will prove to be a greater challenge.