Women Probationers: Supervision and Success by Earlene Festervan, American Correctional Association, 2003, 132 pp.
Women Probationers: Supervision and Success by Earlene Festervan is a quick read containing practical information about female offenders to assist the probation/parole officer who supervises them. As noted in the introduction, women are almost universally undervalued and often oppressed; however, they can do good things when given the opportunity. This book outlines how the supervisor can give women those opportunities through gender-responsive principles and strategies.
The book is divided into easy-to-read chapters about female offenders, and their issues and concerns. Basically, the needs assessment has been done--relationships, children/pregnancy, employment and education, physical and mental health, and substance abuse. There is a sample intake interview/needs assessment, which includes salient questions covering many areas, including the six primary need areas for women. These areas are:
* Adult survivors of sexual abuse and incest;
* Domestic violence;
* Education/vocational training;
* Substance abuse;
* Parenting; and
* Medical/psychological problems.
What is lacking in this assessment is the current status of the primary area of concern--relationships. At the conclusion of each chapter, there are reminders about female offenders and tips on how to provide gender-responsive services for the specific need.
The book also includes an excellent chapter on how to develop a philosophy and a mission for programming. Festervan strongly suggests that the "reasonable taxpayer" principle, which is a measure used to denote acceptability, should guide program design. It is based upon the premise that a taxpayer would be willing to fund/support the intiative. What is it that correctional practitioners and the community want the female offender to do?
We want her to be legally self-sufficient, take care of her children properly, maintain good physical and mental health, be drug free, be in a healthy relationship if in one, etc. Festervan emphasizes...