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Helping Probation and Parole Officers Cope With Stress

NCJ Number
Date Published
February 2007
2 pages
Publication Series
This paper reports on the methodology and findings of a study that identified the nature and scope of the stress experienced by probation and parole officers.
The study found that correctional agencies were losing money, losing good employees, and jeopardizing officer and public safety due to work-related stress. Findings show that most of the work-related stress does not stem from physical dangers associated with probation and parole work, but rather from burdensome caseloads, overwhelming paperwork, and impossible deadlines. The study also found that the development of a stress-reduction program could relieve many of the adverse effects of stress. The study developed guidelines for establishing an effective stress-reduction program. It suggests selecting talented and committed staff with interpersonal skills, selling the program to administrators, ensuring confidentiality, assessing effectiveness, providing adequate funding, and reducing organizational sources of stress. The study methodology involved a review of published and unpublished materials on stress and related topics, a study of nine stress-reduction programs, and interviews with personnel at various levels of the American Probation and Parole Association. Researchers also conducted telephone interviews with individuals involved in five of the nine stress-reduction programs and had in-person interviews with staff at the other four programs. 8 notes and 2 listings for additional reading

Date Published: February 1, 2007