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Probation & Parole - Officers

Advice you need to catalyze change even in the toughest circumstances.

An article about the female probation officers of the Orange County Probation Department.

Wave of early inmate releases raises concerns over preventing relapses among high-risk population.

This report examines the strategies state lawmakers have used to hold offenders accountable for breaking the rules of their supervision and to maintain public safety, while preserving expensive prison beds for more dangerous criminals.

This is a great article explaining how and why community corrections officers experience traumatic stress on the job and related efforts to address this problem. Sections cover: stress—it comes with the job; number of primary traumatic incidents for officers—28% experience four or more incidents; secondary (indirect ) traumatic stress (STS) or compassion fatigue--symptoms and number experienced—44% of 3-4 symptoms; vicarious traumatization (VT) due to empathetic encounters with victimized individuals and number of incidents experienced—56% of 4 or more; corrections fatigue—symptoms and number experienced—67% of 5 or more; unintended negative consequences of evidence-based practices (EBPs) on trauma exposure; managing stress in the workplace; Maricopa County Adult Probation Department (MCAPD) pilot program to address the impact of trauma exposure; employee stress management model—pre-incident prevention strategies (i.e., Officer Specific Training, and Administration Specific Training), post-incident interventions (i.e., Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM) Team, Individual Crisis Intervention (ICI), and stress assessments), and the evaluation of pre/post measures; and author observations.

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This webinar examines secondary trauma and compassion fatigue as experienced by corrections professionals. 

"Oftentimes, parole and probation officers are the only positive role models offenders have. About a decade ago, criminologists began asking if parole and probation visits were a missed opportunity for law enforcement. What if officers developed a more supportive relationship with offenders? What if they demonstrated to clients that they weren’t just checking boxes and delivering sanctions? The working theory was that given some personal attention, offenders might be more receptive to advice about resolving conflicts and avoiding crime. Amid a flurry of academic journal articles and pilot projects, researchers from the University of Cincinnati developed EPICS, short for Effective Practices in Community Supervision, a new model for structured face-to-face meetings between officers and their clients … Since 2006, more than 80 state and county criminal justice departments have adopted EPICS , including Multnomah County. By focusing on behavioral change, rather than just threats of being thrown back in jail, EPICS and similar efforts may help break the cycle of incarceration … The guiding principle behind EPICS is that offenders need help learning how to approach life in a more constructive way. If they’re offered drugs, they need to know how to weigh the long-term cost of incarceration against the short-term benefit of getting high. They need to practice overriding impulsive responses to situations. More broadly, they need to understand how their default thought patterns, without a conscious effort to change, will lead to further crime and punishment" (p. 36-37). This article discusses: what EPICS entails—the four steps of check-in, review, intervention, and homework; difference between EPICS and traditional community supervision; the "black box" of EPICS' effectiveness; potential success of EPICS in Multnomah County, Oregon; the need for program fidelity; the fact that EPICS adds structure to offender-officer interactions and facilitating criminal behavior change; while some officers like EPICS, others don't; some offenders don't like it either; the future.

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Few studies have investigated factors that contribute to the mental health of probation and parole officers (PPOs). Addressing the needs of supervises with serious mental illness (SMI) can create unique challenges for PPOs, which in turn may increase job-related stress and impact PPOs’ mental health. Using statewide survey data from 795 PPOs, we examine whether the number of supervises with SMI on an officer’s caseload is associated with depressive symptoms reported by PPOs and whether this relationship is mediated by work stress. In addition, we examine the mediating effects of role conflict and overload in the relationship between the number of persons with SMI on an officer’s caseload and work stress. Findings reveal that PPOs supervising more people with SMI report significantly higher levels of depressive symptoms and this relationship is mediated by work stress. Additionally, the association between the number of supervisees with SMI on an officer’s caseload and work stress is completely explained away by role conflict and role overload.These findings highlight the mental health significance for parole and probation practitioners working with persons with SMI.

Bell County was chosen for a study on how adult probation works in Texas. 


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