Interesting article: ‘Probation Officer as a Coach: Building a New Professional Identity’

This article is about the report “Probation Officer as a Coach: Building a New Professional Identity’, which was published in the Federal Probation Journal, June 2018. The editors are Brian K. Lovins (Harris County Community Supervision and Corrections Department), Francis T. Cullen (University of Cincinnati), Edward J. Latessa (University of Cincinnati) and Cheryl Leo Jonson (Xavier University). 

In America the amount of probationers is growing massively, one out of 53 people is under probation supervision. According to Lovins et al. a continuing concern is what role a probation officer should play in the live of a probationer.  

“In traditional discourse, role choices have often been posed in dichotomous terms whether officers were going to emphasize treatment or control. We suggest, however, that it may be more useful to move beyond these stale categories. Instead, we propose that probation (and parole) officers might benefit from a different concept of who they are and what they do: probation officer as a coach.”

In the report you can read that Lovins et al. describe the current probation officer as a referee and they suggest to work more in the same way as a coach. According to them this results in new opportunities and it is more effective than the referee method. “Our argument is developed in three sections. First, we propose that too often the current probation officer role is best conceptualised as being a “referee.” We use the probation officer as referee as a way of showing what, in contrast, a coach’s role would entail. Second, we examine the skills that a probation officer as coach would need to possess to supervise offenders effectively. And third, we discuss the potential benefits that would accrue should probation officers be conceptualised as part of the coaching profession. Notably, coaching has broadened beyond athletic teams to include diverse pathways (e.g., life coaches, executive coaches, personal trainers).”

Please click on the link to read ‘Probation Officer as a Coach: Building a New Professional Identity’.

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