SW308 Practice III
The Jones County Herald reports that in the rural town of Smithville, Kansas, the Jones County Juvenile Justice Center has experienced a notable spike in juveniles being detained for offenses ranging from possession of a controlled substance to assault and other violent offenses. Coincidentally, the Jones County School Board noted in its last meeting that the number of students referred to in-school suspension was also on the rise. The Juvenile Justice Center is equipped to house up to fifteen juveniles at any given time, which has been sufficient in the past. However, the facility has recently had to transport juvenile offenders to facilities in other districts due to lack of available beds. The combination of transportation costs and having to pay the outside facilities for housing the youthful offenders has placed yet another financial strain on the Jones County government.
Smithville, once the home of the “Great American Made” manufacturing company which employed a large portion of the local population, is facing yet another crisis. As if the rise in juvenile delinquency isn’t enough, Jones County now faces the possibility of losing the already insufficient fifteen-bed Juvenile Justice Center due to cutbacks in governmental funding. The Center not only serves as the only detention facility in the district, but also houses the operating offices of several community programs including the “Make a Difference Through Mentoring” program, which matches adult volunteers and youth in need of guidance, and the “Youth in Action” program which offers community youth the opportunity for building confidence and skills through various group activities. Monies generated by the Juvenile Justice Center have provided a boost to the Jones County operating budget for nearly half a century.
When asked for comment on the possible loss of the Juvenile Justice Center, Judge Executive John Q. Smith noted “The loss of the Center could prove to be a blow not only to the unstable economy of Smithville, but also for the youth of Smithville who already don’t have enough to do to keep them out of trouble.” Smith said he was planning a community “round table” meeting to discuss options should the Center lose its funding.
At the time of this printing, Center employees, County Government, and Judicial Representatives were anxiously awaiting the decision of continued funding.
After reading the news article and considering social work practice at the macro level, address the following items:
What is the core issue or problem?
Name at least 3 systems at work in this community.
What are some possible related or residual problems or issues?
Identify possible community strengths, resources or assets.
Identify possible barriers to change.
Discuss at least one method of assessment you might use.
Your assignment will be to respond to a variety of questions regarding the situation which will require you to create an intervention plan. In doing so,
you will consider a variety of issues relevant to community organization and to populations at risk.
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