Year
2016
Units
4.5
Contact
1 x 5-day intensive workshop per semester
Prerequisites
1 Admission into MSWGE-Master of Social Work (Graduate Entry)
2 SOAD9102 - Social Work with Diverse Populations
3 Admission into MSWQS-Master of Social Work (Qualified Social Worker Entry)
4 Admission into GCLGTC-Graduate Certificate in Loss, Grief and Trauma Counselling
5 Admission into MSWRS-Master of Social Work (Registered Social Worker Entry)
Must Satisfy: ((1 and 2) or (3) or (4) or (5))
Course context
Master of Social Work
Topic description
In this topic the structure, culture and function of police, courts and corrections within the justice system will be examined to enable students to reflect on social work approaches to clients of the system. The topic will explore ways in which a range of approaches and models can be identified and integrated into practice. The emphasis will be on practical discussions with a range of justice practitioners contributing to student understanding of the real issues confronted when working in the system.

Social Work in the Justice System will explore the theory and practice of working with:
  • Operational police in the field
  • Clients of Correctional Services
  • Victims and witnesses within the court system
  • Victims of Crime and their families
The course will also set a clear context, explaining the structures and "silos" of the system and their cultures. Theories of trauma loss and grief will be considered with particular reference to victims and offenders. Alternatives to traditional justice approaches will be considered including, crime prevention, restorative justice and therapeutic courts. The course will feature lecture and seminar formats with input from "hands on" justice workers as well as visits to Institutions.
Educational aims
  • Explore the culture and structures of the three institutions of the Westminster justice system
  • Increase student's awareness of social work roles and resources within the justice system
  • Introduce students to models of social work practice that can be applied to clients of the justice system
  • Outline methods by which social work professionals can sustain themselves whilst working in often difficult environments
Expected learning outcomes
On successful completion of this topic, students should be able to:
  • Understand the structure and function of police, courts and corrections
  • Identify the social work theory and practice that apply to working with police in the field, prisoners in institutions, court participants, crime victims and their families
  • Clearly identify the impact on social work practice of police, court and correctional cultures
  • Articulate theoretical models such as crisis intervention, narrative therapy, cognitive behavioural therapy grief work and strengths perspective
  • Critically evaluate justice concepts including victim support, witness support and prisoner rehabilitation
  • Articulate recent developments in the justice system including therapeutic courts, restorative justice, crime prevention and early intervention strategies
  • Make informed career decisions with regard to working in the justice system