help the prisoner solve the problem, not do it for him. Of course, by leading questions and suggestions, he can
guide the prisoner to recognition of his problem.
e. Consideration of Possible Solutions. Once the prisoner has accepted the fact that he has a problem and
has correctly identified it, he should consider all the possible solutions or methods of attacking the problem.
Too many times, a counselor will suggest one solution and get the prisoner working on it without considering
all the possible paths of action. As in the preceding step, every effort should be made to make the prisoner feel
he is doing the work, rather than the counselor just listing possible actions. Every possible solution should be
considered, even if the act is illegal or immoral. For the man with money problems, one possible solution is to
rob a bank. Even though this course of action is illegal and immoral and will probably be quickly discarded, it
is still a possible solution. The reason for this consideration of all possible solutions is that when a prisoner
does finally make a decision, there will be no nagging doubt that there may be another or better solution.
f. Selection of a Solution. After considering all possible solutions, the prisoner discards all those that are
unworkable and which would cause greater problems if used (such as suicide). From the remaining workable
solutions, the prisoner selects and weighs the advantages and disadvantages of each. The counselor should be
warned of another possible error he could make at this point. In all probability, he has been considering the
prisoner's problem and perhaps has selected what he believes to be the best solution. The counselor, through
experience, is able to guide the discussion, and keep the prisoner on the path to the eventual solution. The
counselor must be careful here not to force his solution upon the prisoner. If the solution chosen by the prisoner
has any chance of success, he should be allowed to try his course of action. The prisoner will feel the decision
is his and not one forced upon him. Every effort should be made to persuade him that the solution was truly his
discovery. Even if the counselor did most of the work by leading the prisoner in the problem-solving process,
he should let the prisoner take credit for it because the prisoner is the one who needs confidence in his own
g. Implementation of the Solution. Too many counselors make the error of feeling their job is finished when
a prisoner makes a firm decision on a course of action to solve his problem. But, many times, the prisoner
begins to have doubts about his own abilities or the problem looks too big for him. In most cases, just a little
gentle reassurance is needed. But, the case may also call for firm, directive (you should do it) guidance. After
several interviews, the counselor has reached an understanding of the prisoner and knows if he should be firm
or just make a suggestion for the prisoner to follow. In any case, the counselor should be sure that the prisoner
has begun work on the solution to his problem.
h. Follow-up. Just as in any field of leadership, success cannot be assumed. Follow-up is necessary to
assure the counselor the program is working. In most cases, the prisoner will sense the counselor's hopes for
success, and the prisoner's desire for success will be reinforced. Follow-up will also show if the proper
decision has been made. If it appears the prisoner is not achieving success, perhaps the counselor may have to
guide the prisoner through all, or part, of the problem-solving process again to seek another workable solution.
Counseling is not always 100 percent successful. It is a trial-and-error procedure. Most important is the fact
that the counselor realizes the error and is able to adjust without causing undue hardship or frustration to the
prisoner. This will help the counselor retain the confidence of the prisoner.
i. Record of Counseling. A written record should be kept of the counseling sessions to ensure that the
information obtained in the session can be made available to those who need it. There is no prescribed form or
format for preparing this record. However, as a minimum, it should contain--
(1) Date, time, and place of contact.
(2) Reason or circumstances of contact.