Date of Award

5-1-2003

Degree Type

Thesis

University or Center

Clark Atlanta University(CAU)

School

School of Social Work

Degree Name

M.S.W.

First Advisor

Dr. Sarita Davis

Abstract

The purpose of this evaluation is to explore the efficacy of social workers in reducing the rate of recidivism of persons with mental disorders charged with misdemeanor crimes in State Court Division. This evaluation required the selection of two samples for mixed methods analysis. A total of 3] mental health cases were identified to recidivism evaluation, however 10 cases were eliminated due to lack of significant identifying information. A group sample of seven key stakeholders was used to participate in a focus group. The focus group discussed the attributes of effective collaboration between attorneys and social workers in decreasing the recidivism rate of the mentally ill. The participants rated their ideas by order of importance and assigned each one to categories. According to the recidivism data, 28.5% (6) had been rearrested for a new or similar charge as in their previous cases, leaving 71.5% as successful diversion cases following interventions of the ASM social worker. The focus group identified three core conceptualizations of attributes to effective programs: program foundation, procedures, and coalition building. The limitations of this study and recommendations for future evaluation are also discussed.

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