Role of a case manager at a correctional institution-Interview Questions and Answers

Question

Assume the role of a case manager at a correctional institution. A university professor has asked you to speak to her class about your experiences as a case manager. To prepare for the visit, she has sent you the following questions, which the students will ask you:
?What interpersonal skills do you think are necessary to have when working with your clients?
?How does the prison environment influence the way you manage a case?
?What is case management assessment and case management goal setting? Is there a relationship between the two?
?What factors do you consider when doing an intervention plan? How do you go about its implementation?
?How do you utilize resources available within the correctional institution?
?With your experience as a case manager, what do you think are some issues within the criminal justice system as they pertain to case management?

Write 150- to 300-word responses to each question, responding as you would to the students during an interview.

Sample paper

Interview Q and A

What interpersonal skills do you think are necessary to have when working with your clients?

There are numerous interpersonal skills that case managers need in order to accomplish their daily routines. Interpersonal skills help case managers to interact with their clients and most importantly build a rapport with them. Case managers learn some skills through life experiences while others are learned theoretically and developed through undergoing formal training.  In addition, case managers are supposed to have basic values as they practice so that they can build a helping relationship. The values ensure that case managers demonstrate actions for the clients while doing their work.

As a case manager, it is important to be aware of our body language while working with our clients.  Maintaining eye contact is necessary. In the course of their work, case managers work with people from different cultures and backgrounds. Some inoffensive or simple actions or movements could be interpreted differently from what is intended. Maintain eye contact will enable a case manager to capture the reactions of a client. Learning a client’s body language can be helpful in interpretation what is unspoken.

A case manager should be able to maintain a fluent and clear verbal and nonverbal communication.  It is important to keep communication as simple as possible and avoid using technical jargon or terminology unknown to the client. Communication barriers can hinder a client’s progress. Clients are paired with case managers who can understand their language (Woodside & McClam, 1998).

In addition, a case manager should be a good listener. He/she should pay attention to a client’s tone of voice, expressions as well as what is not spoken. Personally, I make an active attempt to understand a client, appreciate their uniqueness and frame of reference.  Being a good listener inspires a client to be open and trust a case manager.

How does the prison environment influence the way you manage a case?

Working in a correction facility presents multiple social and psychological challenges than working in a community setting. Case workers are assigned responsibilities involving doing routine social work. While working in a correctional facility such as a prison, case workers focus on one major goal; ensuring a successful reentry of an offender to the community.  Offenders can only be considered fit to join the community if they have undergone their right treatment programs successfully. The criminal justice has a major responsibility of ensuring that public safety is not compromised. This means that everything should be done to ensure that offenders’ chances of recidivism are reduced. After undergoing the programs, offenders are integrated back into the society where they can lead productive lives. Before any treatment program is initiated, a series of evaluations is conducted in order to establish whether there any psychological issues such as anxiety, depression or any suicidal thoughts (Healey, 1999).

When working in correctional facilities, case managers have to work with the available resources. If the resources are limited, the effectiveness of the programs might be affected. Case managers have to work with the resources that are allocated for the institution. If there is a client who needs a special program that is not offered, a case manager will have to offer the service directly to the client. In addition, case managers working in correction facilities require a lot of knowledge and experience in order to provide adequate services to the offenders. There are also ethical issues that might arise in this setting. Case managers are supposed to observe confidentiality at all times. However, some of the information shared by a client could be sensitive and crucial to their case. This can raise trust issues and leave the case manager in a difficult position that might affect their relationship with the client.

What is case management assessment and case management goal setting? Is there a relationship between the two?

Case management assessment is the very first meeting that a case manager has with a client where all information about the client is collected. This stage consists of interviews where information about a client’s past history is obtained. Some of the useful information obtained during this stage includes substance abuse issues in the past, relationship with family members, and involvement with other agencies in the past. In case a specialized assessment is required, a case manager should give approval. Once the needs of a client are identified, the suitable models of case management should be established. Finally, the willingness of a client to cooperate throughout the program is necessary at this stage so that the process is simplified.

Goal setting involves establishing long term goals and creating a timeline for achieving them. This is very important in case management. The goals are broken down, and the resources required to achieve the goals are established. In addition, the goal setting stage determines who is responsible and what activities that will bring the goals to life. Goal setting could fail due to factors like cognitive, effective, behavioral and environment. Case managers should have knowledge about the things that the programs should achieve and the limiting factors in order to reduce the chances of failing.

Case management assessment and goals setting should go hand in hand. During assessment, a client is made aware of the services that are offered. Together with the case manager, a client can help set the goals that will deliver positive outcome. Case management services can only be effective if everyone involved knows what they are working towards. After doing a thorough assessment, a case manager can proceed and set goals that are in line with the needs of a client.

What factors do you consider when doing an intervention plan? How do you go about its implementation?

Intervention strategies are developed to address the issues contributing the client’s problems. The intervention process is supposed to provide services tailored to suit the needs of the clients. A drug intervention for example cannot be used on a client who has no drug use or addiction issues. When creating an intervention plan it is important to factors that potential clients could have. Such issues include substance abuse, mental health issues, and physical disabilities among others. The implementation of the intervention strategies is the most important stage of case management. The fruits of case management assessment and goal setting are seen through implementation. During implementation, a case manager should consider the information obtained through case assessment and the goals set in order to effectively implement the intervention plan (Collaborativejustice.org, 2015).

In addition, it is important to build a solid support system so that the programs can achieve success. This may include, family, friends or people with an interest in the client since they can be instrumental in ensuring that the programs are successful. Case managers and intervention specialists are responsible of ensuring that the goals are met. They are involved in a client’s treatment, oversee their care, participate in the rehabilitation proceedings, and provide support, education and advocacy services. Many clients are usually in denial and cannot acknowledge they have a problem. It is vital to ensure that their denial does not hinder their treatment programs.

How do you utilize resources available within the correctional institution?

The effectiveness of the functions of correctional facilities is based on the available resources. Considering the available resources, the criminal justice budgetary committee determines the resources that incarcerated individuals at corrections institutions should receive. Case managers are supposed to forwards the list of resources they need to the authorities so that they can be provided. It is important to note that case managers cannot wholly take care of the complex needs of clients without involving other professionals. These professionals will provide additional information, resources and perspectives that will be helpful in ensuring that an offender is successfully integrated back to the community.

Corrections facilities have a responsibility of enhancing public safety by reducing recidivism. This is done by overseeing the successful rehabilitation of offenders. It is therefore important for corrections facilities to engage collaborative partners in order to make the programs more effective. This is achieved when correctional agencies and partners combine efforts to provide resources and assistance to the offenders (Melchizedek Priesthood, 2017).

With your experience as a case manager, what do you think are some issues within the criminal justice system as they pertain to case management?

Case managers encounter unique challenges while trying to ensure that the services they provide to offenders in the criminal justice system help them get back to the community successfully. Firstly, it is challenging to ensure continuity of services. Maintaining services and staff levels as the offenders move from the correctional facilities back to the community can come with some difficulties. Case managers must track the clients to ensure that the likelihood of recidivism is minimized. In addition case managers have to prepare the offenders for employment by developing employment resources. They also ensure that the offenders are reunited with their families. These processes can be challenging since it is hard to determine how the offenders will be received by the public (Healey, 1999).

Case management in a correction facility setting is different from that of other contexts. In most cases, compliance with treatment programs is the provision that qualifies an offender for probation/parole. It is difficult to establish whether a client wants to get better or they are just after attaining freedom for malicious reasons. Some clients do not cooperate with the programs and it can be challenging to achieve progress. Some have anger issues and extreme violent outburst that might hinder their progress.

References

Healey, K. (1999). Issues in Criminal Justice Case Management. Ncjrs.gov. Retrieved 12 March 2017, from https://www.ncjrs.gov/App/Publications/abstract.aspx?ID=178215

Woodside, M. & McClam, T. (1998). REQUIRED SKILLS AND VALUES FOR EFFECTIVE CASE MANAGEMENT. adph.org. Retrieved 12 March 2017, from http://www.adph.org/PROFESSIONAL_SERVICES/assets/component2.pdf

Melchizedek Priesthood,. (2017). Providing Support for Those in Correctional Facilities. Lds.org. Retrieved 12 March 2017, from https://www.lds.org/callings/melchizedek-priesthood/leader-resources/providing-support-for-those-in-correctional-facilities?lang=eng

Collaborativejustice.org,. (2015). Collaboration and the Community Corrections Field. Collaborativejustice.org. Retrieved 12 March 2017, from http://www.collaborativejustice.org/corrections/main.htm

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