Social workers are needed even in correctional institutions in order to fulfill a variety of responsibilities. There are several different roles social workers can take in prisons. Some social workers may meet with prisoners for individual or group therapy as a means of addressing mental health issues, or helping them cope with long sentences and a drastic change in environment. Social workers may lead group therapy sessions in which prisoners process their personal situations as well as learn together how to deal with the demands of the stressful environment of a correctional facility.
Some social workers may have the responsibility of completing risk assessments for the court system as a means of determining their risk level if they were to be released into mainstream society. These social workers often have a great deal of experience in assessing similar situations and are able to somewhat accurately predict the costs and benefits of releasing certain prisoners into the community. (more…)