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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 93107 Find in a Library
Title: Probation Officer and Community Delinquency Prevention - The Shift Out of Reactive Casework
Journal: Canadian Journal of Criminology  Volume:26  Issue:1  Dated:(January 1984)  Pages:75-95
Author(s): D Turner
Date Published: 1984
Page Count: 21
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: Canada
Annotation: This article documents an effective Canadian community crime prevention project, explores how the role of the probation officer needs to shift to a proactive approach if such preventive initiatives are to continue, and develops the connection between theory and practice. It also examines how useful a theoretical framework could be in analyzing a preventive systems change and what different approaches might result.
Abstract: Traditionally the statutory functions of the probation officer have included the supervision of probationers, preparation of court reports, and precourt inquiries. Crime prevention responsibilities have either been vague or nonexistent. In one community in Victoria, the very heavy probation workload made the failure of the reactive approach to community crime apparent. The corrections branch of the family court commissioned a probation officer to develop a comprehensive community crime prevention approach that would reduce crime in the Blanshard Court community, a low-cost subsidized housing project of 182 family units. Under the project, a team of professionals consisting of a social worker, a detached youth worker, and a resident parent worked with the residents of the community to develop a comprehensive network of crime prevention programs. In the 4 years since the program began, crime in the community has progressively dropped. The probation officer attributes the success of the program to a systematic approach to intervention at all levels -family, school, recreation, and environment; a coordinated resource team working in partnership with residents and supporting their self-help initiatives; emphasis on accessible, community-based supports viewed as 'owned' locally; and an emphasis on 'de-labeling' by keeping juveniles out of justice and child welfare systems. The effectiveness of this crime prevention program is related to Martin Bloom's conceptual framework which defines the general forms of preventive action relevant during different stages of system (community) formation and change. The replicability of the project is also discussed, as well as expansion of the probation officer's role to crime prevention activities. Twenty-eight references are listed.
Index Term(s): Canada; Community crime prevention programs; Juvenile delinquency prevention; Probation or parole officers
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