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

Nicholas P. Newstrom, Michael Miner, Chris Hoefer, R. Karl Hanson, Beatrice “Bean” E. Robinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Developed with the goal of preventing recidivism, 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 quite positive about their working relationships; they valued each others’ roles and agreed that regular, accurate, and timely communication occurred frequently. Not all relationships, however, were effective. Several probation officers and therapists expressed dissatisfaction with 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). Our findings suggest ways to structure sexual offender supervision that integrate the distinct orientations of probation officers and therapists into a collaboration that promotes public safety and work well for all.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)607-631
Number of pages25
JournalSexual Abuse: Journal of Research and Treatment
Volume31
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors thank the New York City and Maricopa County probation departments, particularly the probation officers and therapists who participated in the focus groups. They also thank Donna Vittori, Jennifer Ferguson, Regan Daly of the Maricopa County Probation Department, and John Corrigan and Mike Caputo of New York City Department of Probation who assisted with the coordination of the data collection. Much appreciation to David Thornton for his assistance with focus group questions and guidance throughout the process. Thanks to the University of Minnesota Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, especially Heidi Fall for her editing and formatting, Rebekah Pratt for her assistance with qualitative analysis and NVivo training, Sarah Loeschke for coding and organization, and Cathy Strobel-Ayers for coordination. Finally, thanks to the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking (SMART) and the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) for funding and support.

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This project was supported by Award No. 2013-AW-BX-0153, awarded by the National Institute of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, and conclusion or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Department of Justice.

Funding Information:
The authors thank the New York City and Maricopa County probation departments, particularly the probation officers and therapists who participated in the focus groups. They also thank Donna Vittori, Jennifer Ferguson, Regan Daly of the Maricopa County Probation Department, and John Corrigan and Mike Caputo of New York City Department of Probation who assisted with the coordination of the data collection. Much appreciation to David Thornton for his assistance with focus group questions and guidance throughout the process. Thanks to the University of Minnesota Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, especially Heidi Fall for her editing and formatting, Rebekah Pratt for her assistance with qualitative analysis and NVivo training, Sarah Loeschke for coding and organization, and Cathy Strobel-Ayers for coordination. Finally, thanks to the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking (SMART) and the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) for funding and support. The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This project was supported by Award No. 2013-AW-BX-0153, awarded by the National Institute of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, and conclusion or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Department of Justice.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2018.

Keywords

  • collaboration
  • probation
  • sex offender
  • sex offender treatment
  • supervision

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Sex Offender Supervision: Communication, Training, and Mutual Respect Are Necessary for Effective Collaboration Between Probation Officers and Therapists'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this