criminal justice – prison – probation – social work – resocialization – prevention of recidivism – impulses for practical application

Social work plays an important role in the correctional system. Be it intra muros in the social services of the prisons or in everyday support in group correctional system; be it extra muros in the probation service and the correctional services. The tasks, role and function of social work have changed again and again over the last hundred years in the light of changing criminal and social policies. In this field, social work operates in a context of coercion, offers its support to clients, but is at the same time part of the sanctioning prison system. In this field of tension between help and control or resocialization and punishment, it is necessary for social workers to continuously reflect on their professional actions, to be able to apply and justify their methods and instruments in a scientifically sound manner, and to position themselves professionally in the field, which is increasingly characterized by the security paradigm. 

Against this background, the CrimSo Research Group at HESTS contributes at the various levels of research, education, training, and services.