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Issues In VIP (Volunteer-in-probation) Management - A National Synthesis

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 1980
11 pages
This article examines issues in the management of volunteer-in-probation programs including scope of services, project personnel roles, funding, organization, and management.
Since 1960, programs which use volunteers in probation are estimated to have 300,000 volunteers in 2,000 jurisdictions. These programs operate on the premise that certain types of probationers can be helped effectively by both the services a volunteer can offer and by the low tax dollar cost of volunteers. Volunteers' activities fall into three categories: amplification or diversification of probation services and additional support services. The role of the chief administrator varies little from project to project. He or she is responsible for implementing policy, fiscal management, coordination of volunteer program activities with the court and probation department, and general administration. The role of the line volunteer is more diversified and falls into one of four categories: the one-to-one model, the supervision model, the professional model, or the administrative model. Project funding usually comes from a combination of Federal, State, and local grants and private donations. Ultimate control of the program is usually maintained by either the local court or the probation department. To maintain an effective volunteer probation project, certain management issues must be addressed, including good community support, an adequate supply of volunteers, careful screening procedures, adequate volunteer training, sound matching techniques, and decisions regarding supervision. Additional issues include the selection of probationers and volunteers, the determination of the relationship model to be used matching decisions, the improved communication of project purposes and procedures, and decisions on the amount of discretion given to the volunteer. Thirty-eight footnotes, figures, and tables are included.

Date Published: January 1, 1980