Exploring the Role of Social Work in Correctional Setting Jimma Zone Correctional Center, Ethiopia

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Wario Wako
Alemayehu Gebru


The correction is one of the components of the criminal justice system which aims to promote public safety by deterring and rehabilitating offenders, to reduce the chances of recidivism, and to help offenders to become contributing members of society. The researchers employed a qualitative case study research design with the major objective of assessing the roles of social work practitioners in Jimma Zone Correctional Center (JZCC). They applied a purposive sampling technique in selecting participants of the study and data saturation principle in determining the number of participants. The researchers used interviews, observation, and document review for data collection and thematic analysis to code, categorize, and find the patterns of the data and the major themes of the study. They utilized triangulation, member check, and peer debriefing to enhance the trustworthiness of the data. Participants’ anonymity, privacy, and confidentiality of the information that they provided are safeguarded. The finding revealed that the role of social workers in a correctional setting brought prisoners' behavioral change and met their psycho-social needs. In doing so, social workers are involved in direct practice tasks including intake of new prisoners, engagement with inmates, psychosocial assessment, and counseling. Though the needs and services are incompatible, social workers were actively engaged in the rehabilitation of the inmates through psychosocial support. Thus, the study recommends that awareness creation and promotion about the roles, values, and significance of social workers in the correctional setting should be practiced by the Jimma University School of Social Work.

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How to Cite
Wako, W., & Gebru, A. (2020). Exploring the Role of Social Work in Correctional Setting. The Ethiopian Journal of Social Sciences and Language Studies (EJSSLS), 7(2), 61-70. Retrieved from https://journals.ju.edu.et/index.php/ejssls/article/view/4768