Probation offices are organizational units that provide the structure necessary to develop shared meaning systems that influence individual level attitudes, values, and beliefs. We analyze survey responses (n = 252) from county-level probation departments (n = 19) in a single state. The dependent variables are three-factor scales combining items to measure enforcement, reentry, and protection scales. Our central goal is to determine if the authoritarian (i.e. law enforcement) and assistance (i.e. social worker) typologies predict supervision goals. The robust regression analyses show that department (e.g. caseload size, number of officers) and county-level measures of poverty and percent black in the population are significant factors for enforcement and reentry. The article concludes with policy implications.
Exploring probation officer styles and goals with individual, organizational, and social characteristics