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Probation and Parole: Supervision - Social Work Or Law Enforcement?, Casework Supervision Versus Brokerage Supervision, Casework Supervision, Brokerage Supervision

surveillance offender offenders treatment

Probation and parole agencies share one particular and significant function: they provide supervision of offenders in the community. After an offender has been granted probation or parole, a probation or parole officer, hereafter referred to as "PO," is expected to supervise that offender in the community. The basic question remains: What is the purpose of supervision? To some, the function of supervision, drawn from the field of social work, is based upon the casework model. Based on this view, supervision forms the basis of a treatment program. The officer uses all the information available about the offender to make a diagnosis of that person's needs and designs a treatment plan. The treatment plan is an outline based on the needs of the offender (e.g., employment), and the PO's strategy for assisting the offenders in meeting their goal (e.g., enroll the offender in a job skills program).

Yet providing treatment is only one aspect of supervision. In addition, the PO is expected to maintain surveillance of those offenders who make up the case load. A classic definition of surveillance was provided by the National Conference of Parole: "Surveillance is that activity of the parole officer, which utilizes watchfulness, checking, and verification of certain behavior of a parolee without contributing to a helping relationship with him" (Studt, p. 65).

Although these statements indicate that the treatment and surveillance roles of the PO are almost diametrically opposed, many believe that they coexist as a part of probation or parole agency's mission. Many believe that the PO has two major responsibilities: to rehabilitate the offenders who are amenable to treatment, while simultaneously protecting society from those who prove to be dangerous.

Supervision of offenders usually involves both surveillance of offenders and assistance that will help the offender remain crime free in the community. While the term "surveillance" usually means simply watching in a police sense, it should be pointed out that a helping purpose can also occur. When surveillance is properly carried out, the offender can be continually sensitized to the possible results of a course of action that has made him or her vulnerable to breaking the law in the past. Just as an alcoholic or narcotics addict who is trying to change his or her life derives support from frequent contact with others who have successfully conquered their problems, so also can many offenders derive beneficial results from frequent meetings with the PO.


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over 6 years ago

I am the ex wife of an ex convicted felon who spent 10 out 25 yrs in prison and is now our on parol. HE HAS BEEN OUR FOR ALMOSR 8 YRS NOW AND HAS NEVER PAID A PENNY OF CHILDSUPPORT PAST OR PRESENT. I filed a reinforsement case with the att generals office and after 7 yrs they tracked him down thru the ammended court order to have his boss garnish his wages. After only 4 weekly payments he quit and is on the run again and is not following the court order and i have heard that he is not telling his parol officer or his new employer about the court order that he is now in violation of. I have been receiving threatening phone calls and letters to me at my new address sayin that Quote" A boy needs his dad NOT HIS MOM, WATCH UR BACK , YOU JUST DONT KNOW WHEN SOMETHING BACK COULD HAPPEN TO YOU WHEN YOUR NOT LOOKING" UNQUOTE, I have know this man , my 1st love and the father of our oly child and he is a sociapath with no reasonable thought process or quilt or remorse for all of his crimes and i fear for my and my sons live. The attornel Gen can not seem to dind out who his Dallas County Parol Officer is and thier phone # and i have called ever parol divisioni would gladly donate my time , or pay or volunteer somewhere if you could help me find out the name of his Parol Officer and the parol Officers location and phone # so ican pass the info along to the Attorney generals office so they can put him under the original restraining order and stop the treats and lack of payment. No woman or no one should have to keep living in fear an solotude. Can you please advise i am in a desperate need.


Sherri Sprouse