Other Free Encyclopedias » Law Library - American Law and Legal Information » Crime and Criminal Law » Probation and Parole: Supervision - Social Work Or Law Enforcement?, Casework Supervision Versus Brokerage Supervision, Casework Supervision, Brokerage Supervision

Probation and Parole: Supervision - Brokerage Supervision

approach offender services service

Almost diametrically opposed to the casework approach is the brokerage approach, in which the supervising officer is not concerned primarily with understanding or changing the behavior of the offender, but rather with assessing the needs of the individual and arranging for the probationer or parolee to receive services that directly address those needs. Since the PO is not seen as the primary agent of treatment or change, there is significantly less emphasis placed on the development of a close, one-onone relationship between the officer and the offender. With the brokerage approach, the supervising officer functions primarily as a manager or broker of resources and social services that are already available from other agencies. It is the task of the PO to assess the service needs of the offender, locate the social service agency that addresses those needs, refer the offender to the appropriate agency, and make follow-up contacts to make sure the offender has actually received the services. Under the brokerage approach, it can be said that the officer's relationship with community service agencies is more important than the relationship with an individual client. With its emphasis on the management of community resources, the brokerage approach requires intimate knowledge of the services in the community and the conditions under which each service is available.

In addition to understanding the basic philosophical aspects of supervising offenders in the field, it is important to examine some of the alternative approaches and programs that are used by probation and parole agencies.

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