Self Concept in Criminal Justice

The “Self” concept is understanding your behavior and that of the offender. Ones self-concept is who a person is and what that person believes they are all about. The self-concept is a picture we have of ourselves about the kind of person we are. Ones self-concept is both the product and producer of your experiences. For instance, if you are capable of giving and receiving love, if you consider yourself a worthwhile person, if you are confident in your feelings and you behave responsibly, you will be able to bring positive feelings about yourself to the helping relationship.

The “Self” concept is important to corrections professionals because they need to be able to have respect for themselves and the client and need to be able to have control over the situation with the offender. If the offender can tell that a corrections professional has a poor self-concept or low self-esteem, the offender can manipulate the situation and/or the corrections in their favor. On the other hand, if the correctional professional has a poor self-concept, it can actually harm their role as a “helper” to the offender.

The offender needs someone who can help them rehabilitate themselves and be a support to them and a correctional professional who has a poor self-concept of themselves or low -self esteem does not project a healthy, positive attitude. And in my opinion, a “broken” person can’t fix another “broken” person. One way a correctional professional can improve their self-concept is through self-disclosure. Self-disclosure helps to gain knowledge about ourselves by receiving feedback about ourselves from others. Self-disclosure also helps to experience the process in which he/she will be asking offenders to engage in.