Udaipur: The Center for Criminology & Public Policy in association with the Udaipur School of Social Work (USSW) conducted a one-day seminar on the scope of social work practice in criminal justice here on Monday.
The seminar, which witnessed the participation of about 40 MSW students, sought to urge social workers to acknowledge the expertise and knowledge they posses for providing effective services to criminal justice clients and improving social justice outcomes.
Delivering the inaugural address, Prof. S.K. Mishra, the Dean of Udaipur School of Social Work said, social workers in criminal justice setting play a crucial role in protecting public safety, ensuring fairness and justice, and bringing about much-needed reforms in the criminal justice system.
Presiding over the function, R Rochin Chandra, Director, Center for Criminology & Public Policy, said, criminal justice social workers are tasked with providing advocacy and therapeutic services to crime victims, assisting the courts in determining the most appropriate disposal to impose on the offender, offering counseling and educational programs to prison inmates, and extending support to families of prisoners.
“In addition to these services, criminal justice social workers also work closely with juvenile justice boards where they are responsible for assessing the mental maturity of juveniles”, Chandra said, adding that, “such professionals help judges decide whether juveniles in certain cases be tried in adult criminal courts”.
On how social work graduates could expand their job opportunities, Professor Chandra pointed out that, by combining the knowledge of social work with foundational aspects of criminology and criminal justice, students can build their careers in child protection agencies, juvenile welfare boards, prison and correctional services, crisis intervention centers, etc.
He also added that, social work students would benefit immensely from pursuing their dissertation on topics relevant to criminal justice. That’s because Modi government has been inducting subject-matter specialists into the system through lateral entry, for which a well-researched thesis is a strong determinant.
Policy Researcher at the Center for Criminology & Public Policy, Ms. Vinita Kewlani delivered the valedictory address. The seminar concluded with a vote of thanks by Prof. S.K Mishra.