Pierre helps to reduce risk of sexual recidivism

Carolyn Pierre, BSW ’04, MSW ‘07
Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Sand Ridge Secure Treatment Center

Carolyn Pierre was inspired to become a social worker by her parents and family, who instilled in her values of serving others and standing up for what is right. Believing it would offer the best social work education, she enrolled at the UW-Madison School of Social Work, and completed her master’s degree in social work in 2007.


Pierre now provides psychotherapy to adult men who have committed sexual offenses in order to reduce their risk for sexual re-offense recidivism. She has previous experience serving the same population at a treatment center in Minnesota, and with the Minnesota Department of Corrections.


Walk us through a typical day in the life at your job.


A typical day at my job involves group and individual psychotherapy, team consultation or treatment planning meetings, and informal meetings with clients. The most challenging part of my work is the fact that most of the men I work with have a lifetime of fairly significant struggles and hardships that have profoundly shaped the way they think and behave. Because of this, making the personal changes they need to make to reduce their risk of re-offending can be arduous. And, since patients are committed, or facing commitment, under Wisconsin law, treatment can become an inherently adversarial setting, which can make engagement difficult. With these barriers, however, there are frequently rewards: patients who learn to manage their emotions, form therapeutic alliances, manage their sexual interests and transition back to the community.

In your opinion, what is the greatest benefit that the School of Social Work offers students?


The greatest benefit is being part of a community powered by passion for the values of social work, including service, social justice, and advancing human dignity and respect, as well as state-of-the-art, research-based practice concepts.


How has your School of Social Work education prepared you for both your past jobs and your current job?


The School of Social Work helped me connect the core social work values and ethics to everyday practice and emphasized the importance of adhering to evidenced-based practice. My social work education reinforced my overall passion for social work in a way that has allowed it to endure for years beyond graduation and surely many years to come.

Last edited by karnaky on Thursday, September 17, 2015 | Printer Friendly Version