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Understanding the Historical Influences on Contemporary Assessment and Counseling Issues of African American Offenders

Race, Ethnicity and Law

ISBN: 978-1-78714-604-4, eISBN: 978-1-78714-603-7

ISSN: 1521-6136

Publication date: 25 May 2017

Abstract

Purpose

Drawing on the slavery history of the United States, the theoretical framework of the post-traumatic slave syndrome is used to understand the influences and challenges of contemporary assessment and counseling issues of African American offenders.

Methodology/approach

Through a qualitative review of the literature, supporting evidence is given from an investigation of slavery’s historical laws, practices, experiences, and beliefs’ and its influences on contemporary assessment and counseling issues concerning African American offenders and the challenges met by counselors.

Findings

The laws, the practices, the experiences, and the beliefs during slavery have had a profound influence on contemporary issues of assessment and counseling African American offenders. The transgenerational adaptations associated with previous traumas during and after slavery influenced counselors’ ability to effectively assess and counsel African American offenders. Moreover, transgenerational adaptations are equally present among white counselors, which have contributed to challenges with assessments and counseling of African American offenders.

Originality/value

Understanding history that is theoretically framed out of the post-traumatic slave syndrome builds knowledge in understanding present challenges and barriers to effective counseling of African American offenders in three ways: (1) it makes the connection between slavery and contemporary issues concerning assessment and counseling of African American offenders; (2) it explains how race might complicate counseling and assessment process; and (3) it sheds light on significant counseling concepts related to rehabilitation or sanctions of African American offenders.

Keywords

Citation

Truesdale-Moore, S. (2017), "Understanding the Historical Influences on Contemporary Assessment and Counseling Issues of African American Offenders", Race, Ethnicity and Law (Sociology of Crime, Law and Deviance, Vol. 22), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 39-61. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1521-613620170000022005

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017 Emerald Publishing Limited