This chapter holds that the structural and cultural forces embedded in both professional and street communities significantly constrain individual discretionary authority in interactions between street-involved women and alliance professionals. Discretion comprises the nuanced implementation of personal judgment and the mandates or norms governing work-related practices, and hence involves a process that fundamentally emerges in interpersonal encounters rather than being completed defined by professional procedures or norms. This chapter discusses these interactions by devoting a subsection to each of the everyday contexts in which they take place, including everyday police encounters, criminal and problem-solving courts, and probation or other forms of court-mandated oversight. It also includes a subsection that discusses how women seeking services at a transitional housing facility describe themselves in the life history narratives they write as part of their applications.
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