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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 155088 Find in a Library
Title: Probation Officers: Cops or Counselors?
Journal: Corrections Compendium  Volume:20  Issue:2  Dated:(February 1995)  Pages:1-5
Author(s): D Bryan
Date Published: 1995
Page Count: 5
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The role of probation officers is examined, with emphasis on research findings regarding the issue of whether probation officers should be allowed to carry firearms.
Abstract: Probation and parole officers experienced approximately 231 violent incidents in 1993, including verbal threats, attacks by offenders' dogs, bomb threats, physical assaults, and resisting arrest. Some argue that probation and parole agencies should authorize their officers to carry firearms in response to these challenges. The issue of probation officers and firearms relates to whether the probation officer's role is counseling or law enforcement. Although some researchers argue that probation officers cannot perform both roles, little research has focused on the views of probation professionals. The argument that many probation officers want the right to carry firearms is reinforced by Sluder's survey of probation officers. The results revealed that 59 percent of probation officers surveyed supported the idea of being given the option to carry a firearm while working. In addition, 80 percent of officers would comply if required to carry firearms, although a majority opposed such a requirement. Overall, current research notes a dual goal system as important in carrying out the mission of probation. Although enforcement may become a more important goal than rehabilitation sometime in the future, this is unlikely to happen soon. However, probation officer and public attitudes are starting to shift; many probation and parole officers are either authorized to carry firearms or do so in violation of law or policy. Notes and table
Main Term(s): Corrections policies
Index Term(s): Probation casework; Probation officer attitudes; Probation or parole officers; Weapon carrying
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