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11 How. J. Penology & Crime Prevention 1 (1962-1965)

handle is hein.journals/hjcj11 and id is 1 raw text is: 











NOTES OF THE YEAR


After-Care        The  Home   Secretary's Advisory Council on the Treatment
              of Offenders is now drawing up its proposals for a new structure
of the after-care service in England and Wales. If the Council recommends
that the after-care of discharged prisoners and  borstal trainees should be
organised by the probation service (using voluntary bodies or referring to the
mental health service in appropriate cases), then it is important that those who
are responsible for the preparation for discharge should have the same training
and  speak the same language  as probation officers. Indeed, there is a good
deal to be said for their being seconded probation officers or, at least, for those
concerned  with preparations for discharged and those concerned  with after-
care itself being members of one and the same service.
    This would  imply that the present piison welfare officers, where they have
the necessary qualifications, could be regarde4 as seconded members  of the
probation seivice. (Their title, incidentally, has a 19th century ring about it.
They  are, or should be, social workers.  Why   not call them  prison social
workers?)  Social workers of similar qualifications should also be employed in
borstals. For  it is an anachronism to have social workers in prison and in
detention centres but not in borstals. But their installation in borstals would
be a delicate operation because some Assistant Governors Class II woiking in
borstals might perhaps  resent such appointment.  Nevertheless, the employ-
ment  of social workers in all penal institutions seems a logical development, in
line with  the  gradual extension  of the  employment   of other specialists.
A.G.  IIs are really budding A.G. Is who, in turn, are budding Governors, that
is to say, managers.  If they are too firmly involved in social work roles (and
learn too little about management techniques) they may find it hard to give up
their initial preoccupations. In any case, A.G. IIs can never have the genuinely
permissive role of social workers since they must accept custodial responsibilities.
     Two  further points are worth considering. One is that all social workers
 in penal institutions should be paid out of Central Government funds and not,
 as probation officers are, out of Local Government funds. For Local Govern-
 ment may  be very reluctant to provide funds for a service that is, in effect, part
 and parcel of a treatment team in penal institutions which come under Central
 Government   control. The other point is that social work in such institutions is
 in many ways more  difficult and less rewarding than social work in free society
 outside. One  of the attractions of probation work is precisely the degree of
 freedom and the possibilities for experimentation that probation officers enjoy.
 Therefore, if it is desired to attract well-qualified social workers into penal
 institutions, it may be necessary to pay a special allowance. Nurses-another
 profession in short supply-already receive such an allowance if they work in
 prison.
     There are other advantages in having an inter-linking system of social work
 in penal institutions and of after-care. Secondments to and from the probation
 service, for periods of three years or more, offer a change of work and  of
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