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Sex Offender Supervision: Communication, Training, and Mutual Respect Are Necessary for Effective Collaboration Between Probation Officers and Therapists

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 2019
25 pages
Since contemporary sex offender supervision models focus on collaboration between probation officers and therapists, this exploratory study used focus groups to examine the working relationships between probation officers and therapists from two large U.S. urban probation departments.
Overall, both probation officers and therapists were positive about their working relationships; they valued each other’s roles and agreed that regular, accurate, and timely communication occurred frequently. Not all relationships, however, were effective. Several probation officers and therapists expressed concern about poor communication, conflicts between the goals of therapy and probation, a lack of resources, and deficits in the policies they needed to adequately implement components of their supervision model (the containment model). The findings suggest ways to structure sexual offender supervision that integrates the distinctive orientations of probation officers and therapists into a collaboration that promotes public safety and works well for all. (Publisher abstract modified)

Date Published: January 1, 2019