Social workers play a vital role in many aspects of our society, from the court system to the correctional facilities in which they work. The lives of the incarcerated clients, in addition to those who have been released, and the members of our society as a whole can contribute something to society. According to California's Occupational Guide "correctional Social Workers work with juvenile or adult offenders to determine and correct the causes of anti-social behavior. They may work with youth groups or gangs. They conduct pre-hearing and pre-sentencing investigations and present social histories to the courts. Parolees and probationers readjust to society" (California Occupational Guide, On-line). The social worker that works in a correctional institute has an immense responsibility which includes rehabilitation, and the prevention of recidivism of each client.
The development of social workers originated early as specific organizations of society that noticed underprivileged people needed assistance with their problems and did so by addressing their needs in various ways. As The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia states "The development of Social work as a profession out of the early efforts of churches and philanthropic groups to relieve the effects of poverty, to bring the comforts of religion to the poor, to promote temperance and encourage thrift , to care for children, the sick, and the aged, and to correct the delinquent"(2003). The early efforts of these groups gave the poverty-stricken community a voice to be heard and aided society by recognizing that there was a social problem that needed to be addressed in serving these urgent needs. In 1874 the National Conference of Charities and Correction (now called the National Conference on Social Welfare) was organized in the United States.
The evolution of the independent sector, now known as social work, from the broad category of the social sciences was a gradual process which began in the late nineteenth century. Public relief and private philanthropic efforts remained largely matters of local and state concern until after 1930, when the federal government entered the field of social work on a large scale to cope with the effects of the great depression (2003). The government became more aware of the need for social workers to have their own programs to attend to the needs of society's less fortunate. In addition, three authors Miller, Hollis and Taylor respectively stated, "In these early years, those who saw themselves as "social workers" were often intimately involved with the criminal justice system and with juveniles sentenced to reform schools and youth facilities at the times." (Miller. On-line). The name of this new organization betrayed the fact that until the mid 1920's, a substantial amount of social work effort was directed at institutional "wards"- individuals confined to prisons, reform schools, state schools for the "feeble-mined", and state mental hospitals. The efforts of social workers relative to delinquents were predominately directed at moving them from almshouses to appropriate institutional care (Hollis ; Taylor). According to The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, Social work had not yet been fully recognized as a profession at this point in time, but gradually gained its popularity as programs and the number of social workers grew in numbers. Resources were made available, the number of social workers was greatly increased, and it became necessary to coordinate public and private activities. Social work has been steadily professionalized, and special graduate schools as well as departments in universities have been established to train social workers (2003). In retrospect, Social work has emerged as a recognized professional endeavor to serve the needs of others as the government showed support of certain societal needs that has promoted the field of social work.
Growing up, many children experience innumerable situations that effect the decisions they make, which affects the outcome of their life as a whole. One theory is that if children are raised in abusive atmospheres, they may in turn develop into criminals. People wonder what turns a criminal into a criminal, which lead them to a life of crime, jail time, and to eventually need the aid of a social worker. In the past, research on child abuse and neglect has suffered from a number of methodological problems that have hindered the assessment of long-term consequences, particularly outcomes into