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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 69017 Find in a Library
Title: ISSUES OF SOCIAL CONTROL (FROM PRESSURES AND CHANGES IN THE PROBATION SERVICE, P 21-38, 1979, BY JOAN F S KING - SEE NCJ-69015)
Author(s): P PARSLOE
Corporate Author: University of Cambridge
United Kingdom
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 18
Sponsoring Agency: University of Cambridge
Cambridge, CB3 9DT, England
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: PROBATION OFFICERS MUST RECOGNIZE THEIR DUAL ROLES AS AGENTS BOTH OF CHANGE AND OF SOCIAL CONTROL, ROLES THAT MUST COMBINE CARING AND AUTHORITY IN THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE OFFENDER.
Abstract: PROBATION OFFICERS ARE VERY RARELY IN A POSITION TO DECIDE THAT CLIENTS SHOULD DO SOMETHING THEY DO NOT WISH TO DO. PROBATION OFFICERS ARE ESSENTIALLY MIDDLE MEN WHO INVOKE THE POWER OF OTHERS TO COMPEL. TRADITIONALLY, THESE OFFICERS MUST EXERCISE THEIR CONTROL WITHIN THE CONTEXT OF CARE, BELIEVING IN THE POSSIBILITY OF HELPING OFFENDERS. MOST PROBATION OFFICERS HAVE SOME DOUBTS ABOUT THE RIGHTNESS OF SOME OF THE LAWS THEY ARE ASKED TO UPHOLD BY PROBATION OR PAROLE SUPERVISION, AS THEY KNOW AT FIRST HAND THE MISERABLE LIVES OF MANY OF THEIR CLIENTS. POLITICAL AND SOCIOLOGICAL THOUGHT, DEALING IN GENERALITIES, SEEM TO PUSH PROBATION OFFICERS TO CHOOSE BETWEEN POLITICAL AND PERSONAL EXPLANATIONS OF THEIR POSITIONS IN THE JUSTICE SYSTEM. LABELING THEORISTS CLAIM THAT PROBATION OFFICERS FORM PART OF THE LABELING STRUCTURE OF THE JUSTICE ADMINISTRATION, WHERE OFFICERS' EXERCISE OF CONTROL SERVES TO LABEL RATHER THAN TO PREVENT FURTHER OFFENSES. FACED WITH THESE ARGUMENTS, PROBATION OFFICERS MAY SEEK REFUGE IN THE SO-CALLED STRATEGIES OF NONINTERVENTION AND OFFER CARE ON A VOLUNTARY BASIS, DIVORCED FROM CONTROL. CHANGES IN THE PROBATION SERVICE HAVE IN SOME WAYS INCREASED PROBATION OFFICERS' OPPORTUNITIES FOR INTERVENING IN THEIR CLIENTS' LIVES THROUGH EXPANDED SERVICES. A TOTAL OF 21 REFERENCES IS PROVIDED.
Index Term(s): Presentence studies; Probation; Probation or parole officers; Services
Note: NCJ-69017 IS AVAILABLE ON MICROFICHE FROM NCJRS UNDER NCJ-69015
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=69017

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