Preventive Work with Individuals

  • John Pitts
Part of the Practical Social Work BASW book series (BASWPSW)


This chapter considers preventive work with individuals; what is sometimes called ‘tertiary’ or ‘criminality’ prevention or rehabilitation. This form of prevention normally focuses upon people who are already involved in crime and it aims to halt, or diminish, this involvement. However, in the mid-1970s, criminologist and practitioners who wanted to engage in primary prevention, or rehabilitation, were faced with a very unpalatable ‘fact’, for it appeared, as James Q. Wilson (1975) noted, that:

It does not seem to matter what form of treatment in the correctional system is attempted, whether vocational training or academic education; whether counselling inmates individually, in groups or not at all; whether therapy is administered by social workers or psychiatrists; whether the institutional context of the treatment is custodial or benign; whether the sentences are short or long; whether the person is placed on probation or released on parole; or whether the treatment takes place in the community or in institutions. (Wilson, 1975, p.169)


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© Macmillan Publishers Limited 1999

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  • John Pitts

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