EXPLORING THE PERCEPTIONS OF CORRECTIONAL SERVICE PROVIDERS AND ELDERLY PAROLEES OF POST-INCARCERATION SOCIAL WORK PROGRAMMES IN ETHEKWINI METROPOLITAN
AbstractThis qualitative study explored the perceptions of correctional service providers and elderly parolees regarding post-incarceration social work programmes. Primary data were drawn from semi-structured interviews conducted with 15 (n=15) elderly parolees, three (n=3) social workers and two (n=2) correctional officials from South Africa’s Department of Correctional Services. The findings of this study indicated that correctional social work programmes often did not prioritise the unique needs of elderly parolees; the study findings also revealed the urgent need for developing social work programmes that cater exclusively to the needs of elderly parolees. Moreover, the study found the need for developing ongoing training programmes to strengthen reintegration services offered to the elderly cohort, and finally, the study also revealed that the increase in the number of elderly offenders being released on parole impacted negatively on the responsiveness of social work post-incarceration programmes. This article concludes by offering recommendations to the Department of Correctional Services and social workers working in community correctional centres.
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