The primary roles of case management in the criminal justice system include getting the client involved in the treatment process, evaluating the client’s needs, collaborating the service plan, observing progress, and implementing obligatory intercession. Case management in the criminal justice perspective entails the case manager taking on additional responsibilities beyond the scope of the traditional social service case workers. It is customary for social workers to serve solely as an advisor of services. In criminal justice, the case manager‘s responsibility is not only to advise the client of services but also act as a guidance counselor through the treatment process. In criminal justice, the case manager is considered a valued asset for the treatment of offenders in various settings.
Case management in the criminal justice system is needed in various junctures of the client’s treatment process. Two of the settings in which this process occurs are the community setting and correctional setting. The main difference between community and correctional settings is the site of treatment and how it affects the course of treatment. Most of the services provided in correctional settings are available for clients in the community setting as well. The same types of treatments may be required in the client’s service plan. In a community setting, the client will receive treatment in the community in which they live. One of the focuses in a community setting is to deinstitutionalize the client so that they are self-sufficient. The client has the responsibility of meeting with the service providers in their treatment program as well as periodically corresponding with the case manager.
In a community setting, the client may receive services such as alcohol and drug counseling, psychotherapy, and various behavioral treatment programs specific to the client’s needs. A case manager in a community setting may perform the role of probation or parole officer to inmates who have been released into society. The client may require different levels of supervision depending on the nature of their offense, history of behavior, and risk of recidivism. Community setting case managers must try to need the client persistent with treatments without interruption that can pose a challenge. In comparison to community settings, correctional settings will likely consist of treatments being carried out within a facility. A correctional setting such as a prison or jail, case managers are located within the facility. The case manager can informally correspond with the client on a more consistent base than in the community setting.
All of the client’s service providers will likely be on site, so it is easier for the case manager to correspond with them and assess the client’s success. In the event the client violates the terms of their treatment, the case manager will likely be aware of the problem and be able to stage an intervention immediately. The process of the case worker will prospective initiate in the same manner. At the first meeting with the case worker, the client will be informed of the service plan and what is expected of them while receiving treatment. They are also informed of the consequences that will follow if they fail to comply with the terms. The next step is assessing the needs of the client. An interview with the client and a review of their history will help the case manager gain perspective of the needs of the client. After the client has begun their service plan, the case manager will need to monitor the client to make sure that they are staying on course with the treatment.
Supervision may be done by electronic monitoring, frequent counseling with the case manager supplemented with the testing of drugs and alcohol if required. Both community and correctional settings will present case managers with a diverse population of clients. Case managers will have to handle the population of offenders ranging from violent to nonviolent and various classifications of offenders. A diverse population of offenders may consist of women, juveniles, sex offenders, mentally ill, and offenders of domestic violence. The course of treatment may be altered when dealing with different populations. For instance, the needs of juveniles are different from those of adults because they are protected by certain regulations regarding their safety and wellbeing. Juveniles are not deemed capable of making rational decisions, so the case manager will need to consider all factors for the better good of the client. The same kinds of special treatments apply to women as it does for children.
Women are seen as a feebler population and require different needs than those of male offenders. Women tend to have more emotional issues and victimization of abuse that affect them deeply. Substance abusers will need intervention and counseling for their additions. Offenders of violent crimes will need to attend programs to deal with their anger and deviant behavior. Diverse populations will necessitate different approaches and require altered treatments that comply with their cases. Case managers working in criminal justice will be presented with a variety of clients depending on the specialized population they choose. Every population that has been mentioned may be treated in either a community setting or correctional setting. Potential clients in a community setting may be men or women, children or adults, and offenders of various crimes. Clients in a community setting are likely to be less violent than those in a correctional setting since they have been integrated back into society.
Case managers may have to handle cases with juveniles placed in foster care, women who have been battered or abused, or offenders of violent crimes. Each of these special population clients will require different programs and levels of monitoring. Potential clients for case managers in a correctional setting will depend on the clients that are housed in the facility. Women, men, and juveniles are housed in different facilities. In some facilities, women and men are housed in the same units but separated facilities. The case manager will likely manage cases one gender, but the status and classification of the offender may vary. As in community settings, correctional setting case managers will have clients of various special needs such as substance abusers, mentally challenged, victims of violence, and other behavioral and development issues. It is imperative case managers exercise practice of confidentiality and ethics. Confidentiality is what protects the privacy of the client. Information that is not public domain needs to be protected so that certain information is not misused. One of the most important aspects of a case manager is to establish trust with their client.
Confidentiality ensured that the client can trust the case manager and service providers with assurance their information is secured. Confidentiality is also the good practice of ethics. A case manager who is ethical in their work will always do what is moral right for the client. A case manager who is upholding their ethical responsibilities will advocate and protect the client when compulsory. When comparing community settings to correctional settings, there is not much that is different outside of the environment in which the case manager works.
In a community setting a case manager will have to put forth greater efforts when collaborating services and communicating with providers. In a correctional setting, the environment is more controlled, and the service providers are likely working in the same facility in which the case manager works, and the client is housed. In both settings, a case manager may be challenged with diverse populations. In a correctional setting, the case manager will likely be limited to the population in which he or she specializes. In a community setting, a case manager may receive a mixture of both male and female clients with various needs. When managing the cases of any client, the case manager must practice confidentiality and ethics. By doing so, the case manager secures the integrity of their position that is so valuable to the criminal justice system.
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