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Volunteers and Paraprofessionals in Parole - Current Practices

NCJ Number
Journal of Offender Counseling, Services and Rehabilitation Volume: 8 Issue: 1-2 Dated: (Winter 1983) Pages: 91-105
Date Published
15 pages
Although evaluations of paraprofessional and volunteer programs are uniformly positive, the programs themselves vary greatly.
This paper examines issues concerning the use of volunteers and paraprofessionals in parole and provides information on their current use. A definite social distance exists between a large segment of the parole clientele and the predominantly middle-class professional corrections workers. Volunteers and paraprofessionals can bridge this gap. The study gathered data on volunteers from 35 parole field agencies across the country. These programs vary in their requirements and functions. Qualifications for volunteers ranged from none to a requirement for training, interviews, and background checks. The qualifications for paraprofessionals were more stringent. The functions served by volunteers and paraprofessionals range from support staff to direct caseload supervision. No jurisdiction reported negative findings in the evaluations of their programs. Despite the fact that evaluations of these programs are positive, there is evidence of decreasing use of the ex-offender strategy in parole service delivery. Possible explanations include attitudes of resistance, fiscal limitations, and loss of interest by the ex-offender employees. Another factor could be the move away from parole towards stricter punishment. Twenty notes and tables are provided.

Date Published: January 1, 1983