study case

| August 31, 2015

study case

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Case Study: Understanding the Special Challenges Faced by the Correctional Counselor
Richard, a correctional counselor at State Prison, was preparing to meet with David, an inmate at the facility. In their last session Richard and David had worked through a substance abuse assessment and Richard was going to need to talk with David about the results. He knew that this was going to be a difficult conversation. When David arrived for his appointment, Richard began by asking David about his week…

Richard: Thanks for coming in today, David. How have things been going for you this week?

David: Same old things. Nothing new.

Richard: I wanted to talk with you about the assessment we completed last week regarding your substance abuse. When I went through the results, it indicated that your use was pretty problematic – which we had talked quite a bit about. Based on this, I think it might be a good idea for you to enroll in the substance abuse program here so you can get the help that you need.

David: Look, my drug use isn’t a problem. If the cops would just leave me alone, it wouldn’t be a big deal. They just hassle me and cause problems. My using doesn’t hurt anyone.

Richard: You mentioned before that you had lost your job because of it and you and your family were having some pretty tough financial problems.

David: Yeah, that stupid boss of mine. He makes us all take drug tests for no good reason. It’s all his fault that we were having problems. Smoking weed never caused me problems at work. It’s never caused problems anywhere. It’s just people out to give me a hard time because they don’t like me.

Richard: But, do you think treatment could be helpful?

David: Look, I don’t have a problem. Besides, going through treatment is a hassle. You have to go to all these classes, work on projects, go to support group meetings, and participate in family counseling. I don’t have time for all of that. That’s ridiculous, doing all that work. I can’t do that.

Richard: If those things help you to stay clean, they could be worth it.

David: Look, what do you know about drug use? You’ve probably never used drugs before in your life, have you? I can’t imagine your wife letting you do that, huh? She probably tells you what to do and keeps a real tight leash on you.

Richard: You’re right. Substance abuse has never been a problem for me. Maybe you can tell me a little more about what it’s like for you.

David: Look, how about I just talk to you about it and then you don’t have to send me to treatment? There’s no need to make me do all that stupid work when I don’t need to. I’ll explain things to you and you’ll see. Can we do that?

Richard: So you think that treatment would have no benefit at all to you. How has your substance abuse been helping you out?

Using the information provided, answer the following questions.

1. What criminal thinking patterns does David exhibit?

2. Which of the Dirty Dozen power and control tactics does David use?

3. How does Richard approach the resistance that the offender demonstrates? What are some other examples of statements Richard could have made to manage David’s resistance?

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Category: Essays

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