Comparison Between the Probation Officer’s Social Work Approach and The Parole Officer’s Law Enforcement Approach

 
   

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In many cases, mostly first offenses of misdemeanor charges such as the first DUI, the first shop lifting, etc., the offender can be sentenced to probation instead of prison or jail time. The offender will be assigned to a probation officer who ensures that the offender follows the set probation conditions.

Parole is the early release from prison based on good behavior, attending programs and showing remorse for the committed crimes. In parole, the offender has already served prison time. The offender has to report to the parole officer who ensures that the parole conditions are followed. If the offender violates the parole conditions, the offender is subject to return to prison for the remainder of his or her sentence.

Compare and contrast the Probation officer’s social work approach versus the parole officer’s law enforcement approach. What are the reasons for the different approaches?

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response post

I once interviewed a probation officer for my degree and she had made the comment that when she is doing a good job with an offender she then feels like a therapist. This is not because they come in and talk to her for an hour about the problems in their life, in fact it is opposite. She had mentioned she likes when they come in and they want to talk about the good and the bad. It is a form of trust. This to me is like social work. Probation officers need to establish a level of trust and help the offender stay on the non-criminal track in life. They will have meetings with them, make a plan for success, and even call their family members to check in and see how things are going.

I think that the law enforcement approach is when the parole officer comes to do a home visit or a drug test. These are things that are mandatory to do when asked and also it like making sure they are not involved in criminal activity. I feel this is more of the law enforcement side because they are enforcing the laws that pertain to probation and parolees.