Sunday, August 12, 2007

More NCJRS Abstracts, August 12, 2007


NCJ 219089
Tony Ward; Bill Marshall
Narrative Identity and Offender Rehabilitation
International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology
Volume:51 Issue:3 Dated:June 2007 Pages:279 to 297

This article examines the concept of "narrative identity" (behavioral strategies for fulfilling personal needs, having valued experiences, and creating a lifestyle reflective of personal goals) and its link to values, assessment, and treatment for offenders. The authors first discuss the rehabilitative process and the kinds of changes offenders are typically required to make in a treatment program. The discussion focuses on sex offenders, since this is the offender group that has been studied by the authors. They believe, however, that the concept of narrative identity as a focus of assessment and treatment applies to all types of offenders. The article then examines the concept of narrative identity and its relationship to values and life projects. In this discussion, the authors clarify their views of human nature and explore implications of how human nature is expressed in various socio-cultural contexts. The authors then explain in detail the implications of this perspective for the assessment and treatment of offenders. A principal feature of the authors' thinking is that if offenders are autonomous agents who partially shape their lives according to their values, then the separation of treatment into modules is artificial and counterproductive. It also magnifies the importance of process factors, such as the therapeutic alliance, in the change process. This is because the setting of life goals and strategies for working toward them is the essence of a narrative identity. The authors conclude the article with a discussion of the research and theoretical implications of their arguments. 45 references

NCJ 219026
Patricia E. Allard; Lynn D. Lu
Rebuilding Families, Reclaiming Lives: State Obligations to Children in Foster Care and Their Incarcerated Parents
Ford Foundation and California Community Foundation

This report critiques Federal and State policies that impact the reunification of foster children and their incarcerated parents after the parents' release, and offers recommendations for improvement. This report recommends that Federal policymakers specify the scope of reasonable efforts and family reunification services that States should provide in meeting the distinctive needs of incarcerated parents and their children. It also recommends that ASFA's mandate to seek termination of parental rights after a child has been in foster care for 15 of the last 22 months be amended to take into account the unique time frames imposed by parental incarceration. Effort should also be made to increase the availability of comprehensive family-based and community-based substance abuse treatment programs at the Federal and State levels, so as to divert parents from prison. Federal child welfare law requires States to make "reasonable efforts" to reunify families, including many families with incarcerated parents; however, the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997 (ASFA) limits efforts to reunify families and specifies the length of time children may spend in foster care before their families are dissolved forever. A few States have taken steps to alleviate the harsh consequences of parental incarceration on children by specifying the efforts corrections and child welfare agencies must make in facilitating reunification. Most State agencies and the courts that oversee them, however, still lack clear guidance on how to implement or assess reasonable reunification efforts for families with incarcerated parents. State child welfare agencies and corrections departments must have strong Federal guidance on how to meet the needs of children in foster care and their incarcerated parents. 187 notes and appended sample interagency protocol

1 comment:

rohndawson said...

Selected data on community corrections orders across Australia are also presented for comparative purposes.
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