SW 556 Forensic Social Work

3 credits

Forensic social work is defined as social work practice in various criminal justice arenas, at the macro, mezzo and micro levels, with a particular emphasis on working with forms of serious violence. This elective course will introduce concepts, principles and skills of forensic social work practice with individuals, families and groups affected by criminal justice involvement. Criminal justice system components such as police, parole, probation, courts and jails/prisons will be identified and discussed in terms of function, funding and public support. This course offers students an opportunity to define forms of violence, to understand differing etiologies of violence and to develop skills in planning interventions at the micro, mezzo and macro levels. The social work role in assessing and intervening in jails, clinics, hospitals and communities will be highlighted. Major psychopathological pathways to violence will be identified and discussed in the context and role of risk management and safety planning.