Maatskaplikewerk, voorvonnisverslae : die ontwikkeling van riglyne
De Koning, Susan Petru
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Research has shown that courts and practising jurists increasingly use social work pre-sentence reports. Pre-sentence reports can be requested from probation officers and social workers in private practice. These reports are prepared with the purpose of assisting courts in determining the most appropriate sentence taking into account the criminal, the victim and the community. Worldwide research as confirmed by this investigation indicates that jurists generally regard the quality of pre-sentence reports as unsatisfactory. This research focussed on jurists' quality grading and their pointing out of shortcomings and problems regarding certain aspects of the pre-sentence report. Twenty respondents took part in this research among whom were advocates (some with senior status), regional magistrates, magistrates and attorneys with experience in the criminal court as well as being experienced in employing pre-sentence reports. The aspects of the pre-sentence reports concentrated on is the report format, report content, the discussion of the facts (evaluation), motivation underlying the recommendations, general appearance, use of assessment instruments, presentation in court, as well as skills and knowledge required to write the reports. The respondents were also requested to indicate they prefer the service of either a probation officer or a social worker in private practice. Their preferences are highlighted and discussed.
- Health Sciences