Bridging the Gap from Prison to Society: Evaluating the Construction of the Parole Officer’s Role and its Perceived Impact on Parolee Outcomes Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_projects/gh93h4211

2017

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  • For some incarcerated individuals, when they are released from prison they are released to an officer in the parole and probation department for a specified period of supervision while in the community. During this supervisory period, these individuals, also known as parolees, are able to develop pro-social skills and behaviors, which can enable them to transition into a positive and conformed member of society. For this to happen, parole officers are put in a difficult position where they are required to be both a law enforcer and a social worker. They have to monitor and manage the parolee, ensure the parolee is meeting the conditions of their supervision, and make sure that the parolee is not committing new crimes within the community. These officers also have to facilitate the parolee’s rehabilitation through cognitive and behavioral restructuring and pro-social skill building. For parolees to have the best opportunity for success while on supervision, officers must be able to balance the law enforcement and social worker aspects of the job while creating and maintaining a positive relationship with the parolee. This study examines the perceptions of parole officers from three agencies within Oregon that enable officers to utilize a balanced approach of punishment and rehabilitation in paroling. Through a social constructionist lens, this study evaluates both how officers develop, perceive, and interact with parolees and the perceived impact of the officer’s interactions on the parolee’s outcomes.
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