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Running Head: Oedipus: Types of Counseling in the Prison Setting

 

Types of Counseling in the Prison Setting

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            Counseling is all about giving humane services to people in need. There are times when people encounter difficulties in handling their emotions, their thinking and their acts. What counseling can do indeed is to provide them with psychological wellness. Psychological Interventions are needed to get them back to their conscious level of mind. Once the mind, feelings and thinking are in the state of readiness, then can counseling process fit in.

There are many counseling approaches which are being used for different purposes and different issues. One of the many popular approaches is the person centered or the humanistic approach, the psychodynamic approaches e.g the psychoanalysis, individual therapy, the behaviorist approach and the Multicultural approach and many more.

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A good counselor is also well experienced and is always bound by their code of ethics of the Malaysian Counselors Board code of ethics.

There are many subspecialties of counseling i.e counseling psychology, marriage and family counseling, career counseling, individual counseling, group counseling, addiction counseling, rehabilitation counseling, prison counseling, school counseling, developmental counseling and multicultural counseling just to name a few.

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What Counseling is NOT?

  • Counseling is only for school and university students
  • Counseling is not for gifted children but for trouble ones
  • Counseling is only for handling disciplininary cases
  • Counseling is all about giving advise and teaching
  • Counseling is just providing solutions to a problem
  • Counseling is just a 'Sit and Talk and Listen' kind of thing.
  • Counseling is only for kids and not for adults
  • Counseling is boring.

Prison inmates, are some of the most maladjusted" people in society. Most of the inmates have had too little discipline or too much, come from broken homes, and have no self-esteem. They are very insecure and are at war with themselves as well as with society. Most inmates did not learn moral values or learn to follow everyday norms. Also, when most lawbreakers are labeled criminals they enter the phase of secondary deviance. They will admit they are criminals or believe it when they enter the phase of secondary deviance. Next, some believe that if we want to rehabilitate criminals we must do more than just send them to prison. For instance, we could give them a chance to acquire job skills; which will improve the chances that inmates will become productive citizens upon release. The programs must aim to change those who want to change. Those who are taught to produce useful goods and to be productive are likely to develop the self-esteem essential to a normal, integrated personality. This kind of program would provide skills and habits and replace the sense of hopelessness that many inmates have.

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Moreover, another technique used to rehabilitate criminals is counseling. There is two types of counseling in general, individual and group counseling. Individual counseling is much more costly than group counseling. The aim of group counseling is to develop positive peer pressure that will influence its members. One idea in much sociology text is that group problem-solving has definite advantages over individual problem-solving. The idea is that a wider variety of solutions can be derived by drawing from the experience of several people with different backgrounds. Also one individual’s problem might have already been solved by another group member and can be suggested. Often if a peer proposes a solution it carries more weight than if the counselor were to suggest it.

Further, in sociology, one of the major theories of delinquency is differential association. This means some people learned their ways from "undesirable" people who they were forced to be in association with and that this association "warps" their thinking and social attitudes. Group counseling, group interaction, and other kinds of group activities can provide a corrective, positive experience that might help to offset the earlier delinquent association. However, it is said that group counseling can do little to destroy the power of labeling. The differential-association theory emphasizes that a person is more likely to become a criminal if the people who have the greatest influence upon them are criminals.

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Most of today's correctional institutions lack the ability and programs to rehabilitate the criminals of America. One can predict that a prisoner held for two, four, eight or ten years, then released , still with no education or vocational skills will likely return to a life of crime. Often their life in crime will resume in weeks after their release. Although the best prisons and programs in the world will not cure the problem totally, improvements still must be made.

Prison inmates, are some of the most "maladjusted" people in society. Most of the inmates have had too little discipline or too much, come from broken homes, and have no self-esteem. They are very insecure and are at war with themselves as well as with society. Most inmates did not learn moral values or learn to follow everyday norms. Also, when most lawbreakers are labeled criminals they enter the phase of secondary deviance. They will admit they are criminals or believe it when they enter the phase of secondary deviance. Next, some believe that if we want to rehabilitate criminals we must do more than just send them to prison. For instance, we could give them a chance to acquire job skills; which will improve the chances that inmates will become productive citizens upon release. The programs must aim to change those who want to change. Those who are taught to produce useful goods and to be productive are likely to develop the self-esteem essential to a normal, integrated personality. This kind of program would provide skills and habits and replace the sense of hopelessness" that many inmates have.

Moreover, another technique used to rehabilitate criminals is counseling. There are two types of counseling in general, individual and group counseling. Individual counseling is much more costly than group counseling. The aim of group counseling is to develop positive peer pressure that will influence its members. One idea in much sociology text is that group problem-solving has definite advantages over individual problem-solving. The idea is that a wider variety of solutions can be derived by drawing from the experience of several people with different backgrounds.

Click to Order a Custom Term Paper Now...

Also one individual’s problem might have already been solved by another group member and can be suggested. Often if a peer proposes a solution it carries more weight than if the counselor were to suggest it.

Further, in sociology, one of the major theories of delinquency is differential association. This means some people learned their ways from "undesirable" people who they were forced to be in association with and that this association "warps" their thinking and social attitudes. Group counseling, group interaction, and other kinds of group activities can provide a corrective, positive experience that might help to offset the earlier delinquent association.

However, it is said that group counseling can do little to destroy the power of labeling. The differential-association theory emphasizes that a person is more likely to become a criminal if the people who have the greatest influence upon them are criminals.

Click to Order a Custom Term Paper Now...

Most of today's correctional institutions lack the ability and programs to rehabilitate the criminals of America. One can predict that a prisoner held for two, four, eight or ten years, then released, still with no educationling, there is disadvantages. For instance, members of the group might not be as open or show emotion because they want to appear "tough." Also the members might not express their opinions openly because the others might see it as "snitching." For the group to work it takes a dedicated counselor. Another type of correctional center used for rehabilitation is halfway houses. Halfway houses are usually located in residential communities and are aimed to keep offenders in the community. The name comes from the fact that they are halfway between the community and the prison.
The "rationale" behind halfway houses is that criminal activity originates in the community, so the community has a responsibility to try to correct it. Also, sending a person who has deviant behavior and who has been associated with criminal influences, to prison would just make the problem worse. The best place for treatment is in the community; this prevents the breaking of all constructive social ties. Programs in halfway houses usually involve work release or study release and group sessions for therapy and counseling. Most programs vary greatly depending on the administrator. Generally, the purpose is to "reintegrate" members back into the community. There are three systems generally used in programs and in the process: change by compliance, client-centered change, and change by credibility in that it 'makes sense..

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The compliance model is designed to make good work habits. The client-centered model focuses on a high understanding of the person. The credibility model emphasizes making decisions and getting back into the community. These programs are made to avoid institutions as much as possible. On the other hand, many inmates think the government does not want to rehabilitate criminals. The reason behind this thinking is that prisons supply thousands of jobs to the economy. Also the construction of new prisons brings millions of dollars into the economy each year and if there were no new prisons needed it would mean the loss of thousands of jobs.
In conclusion, things need to be done to improve rehabilitation in America. Improvements in job training, counseling, and halfway houses for rehabilitation must be brought to the forefront by citizens. If we do not get involved and try to make changes, our crime problem could worsen beyond control.

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References

Abril, Julie C. "Native American Identities Among Women   Prisoners." The Prison Journal, vol. 83, no. 1 (2003): 38-50

Alemagno, S. "Women in Jail: Is Treatment Enough?" American   Journal of Public Health, Vol.91 (2001): 798-800

Dreher, J-C. and K.F. Berman (2002) 'Fractionating the Neural Substrate of Cognitive Control Processes', Proceedings of    the National Academy of Sciences 99 (22): 14595-600

Gladding, S. T., Group work: A counseling specialty (4th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2003

Jones, K. D., & Robinson, E. H., III., Psycho educational groups: A model for choosing topics and exercises appropriate to group stage. Journal for Specialists, 2000

Yalom, I. D., The theory and practice of group psychotherapy  (4th ed.). New York: Basic Books, 1995

 
 


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