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Officers play major roles in probation. For instance they ensure proper orientation is in place. On addition the officers have to ensure that the available correlation interventions are effective in meeting the set objectives. Therefore the attitude of the officer towards the job is very important. Intensive supervision which follows an approach that is balanced basing on correctional intervention of effective principles can be of great importance in achieving the set goal. Probation has been a major area of recent research because researchers want to know how attitude and role preferences of parole and probation officers influence their jobs. Most of the research that has been conducted mainly focused on orientation roles because it closely relates to the intrinsic conflict between control and treatment. Conflict in probation usually arises because of the rift between two parole officers and two instrumental probation functions. The parole officer is supposed to enforce the law on addition to helping the criminal or offender (Bogue, Nandi and Jongsma, 2003).
Propagation of a conflict. A conflict may mainly arise because of the rival concerns of the offender and the community. These two primary probation roles seem to be incompatible and as a result a conflict is likely to emerge between the two bodies. The parole officer is supposed to monitor and control the entire task and at the same time he is also expected to help the offender. Therefore the role of the probation officer greatly differs in the context of social work and law enforcement. Researchers therefore extensively studied the orientation roles of probation officer by using attitude since it is thought to play a significant role in the whole exercise. Researchers used questionnaires to find out how attitude plays a significant part in the work of parole officer and through the obtained results it was quite evident that some officers prefer to be at the extreme of one of the two roles.
Contrary to be being on the extreme in reference to carrying out of duties officers should embrace the two roles as probation officers. On addition, some probation officers may opt to use an adaptive role depending on the criminal career of the offender as well as his general behavior. Results obtained through research clearly indicated that there are distinct role preferences though officers appear to be good at performing both roles of supervision and control besides assisting the offender. It was also clear that there are demographic factors which greatly influenced the role that an officer will assume. Through these demographic factors it was found out that officers who were working with agencies that were large as well as other male officers were more likely to control and enforce law strategies than to help the offender. On the contrary female officers and the rest of the probation officers who were deployed at small agencies were not likely to control and enforce the required law (Nolan, 2009).
Role Preferences. It has been shown that task preferences and attitudes of officers are greatly influenced by the organizational philosophy. Support tasks are more likely to be developed by the probation officers if the organizational philosophy is more instrumental or greatly emphasized on treatment. Therefore in this case support tasks are not developed because of the preferences of the probation officers but because it is required by the organization. On addition if an organization emphasizes the usefulness of rehabilitation in its objectives then probation officers will ensure assistance tasks performance. It is therefore clear that the organizational philosophy and set objectives plays a major role in the attitude that the officers will develop on addition to the task that they will prefer between supporting the offender and enforcing the law as well as supervision.
There is need for further research on how role preferences and attitudes are incorporated into daily practice. The attitude of the assistance and the set authority influenced the probation officers to a great extend. For instance their attitudes were important determiners of the amount of supervision objectives and the type of the objectives that probation officers would give the clients. Therefore the choice of an officer to revoke greatly depended on his behavior and the attitude he had developed through the influence of the underlying authority. Research has revealed that probation officers with reiterative score that was low were more likely to punish their clients heavily. On addition they will opt for formal punishment on any violations besides being returned to prison. Therefore the orientation of the probation officer is very instrumental on the behavior they will develop as well as on their case outcomes (Morris and Tonry 1991).
Basing on the conducted research it is evident that there are potential conflicts of the conflicting roles between parole and probation. For example the conflicting roles are the major causes of the burnout and job stress experienced by the officers. On addition the conflicting roles are a major contributor to the harsh treatment of the law offenders. Research indicated that these conflicting roles were as a result of civil service dissatisfaction and vague professional status among the officers. Analysts indicate that the conflicting roles between the parole and the probation officers will only be solved when the leadership eliminates the assistance role and the social work. Not all professional agree to this recommendation because there are some who think elimination of the social and assistance role will create work boredom which might also be very stressing. On addition it eliminates the variety that has been in this professional for some time.