Probation Officer-Probationer Relationships and their Effect on Compliance and Recidivism




Mueller, Kyle

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The quality of the relationship between probationer and probation officer may be instrumental in determining a favorable or unfavorable probation outcome. This dissertation uses the Dual-Role Relationship Inventory Revised (DRI-R), which measures the nature of the probationer/probation officer relationship, in a cross-sectional survey to predict traditional probation outcome measures (i.e. violating the terms of probation without being caught, technical violation, and/or new arrest). The DRI-R has previously been validated through confirmatory factor analysis (CFA), but only on a population of probationers with a diagnosed mental illness. Other research has examined parolees’ relationship with their parole officer (PO), demonstrating the DRI-R’s effect on further arrests as evidence for the measure’s validity. However, there is a need to validate the DRI-R using a general probation sample. This dissertation will examine the 3-factor, 30-item DRI-R using a sample of probationers from three Texas counties. Prior research has examined general risk factors for probation failure (e.g. legal, socio-demographic, and other extra-legal variables) and this dissertation incorporates these factors as control variables, exploring how they affect the influence of the DRI-R on probationer outcomes. Furthermore, this study examines the individual DRI-R subscales—Trust, Caring/Fairness, and Toughness—to further estimate the predictive utility of the measure. Related to quality of the relationship, this study also evaluates the effects of race and gender concordance on probationer-PO relationships. This study will help probation departments understand how these relationships affect probationer compliance. Finally, this research contributes to current literature on race and gender concordance between probationers and their POs.



Probation, Interpersonal procedural justice


Mueller, K. (2019). <i>Probation officer-probationer relationships and their effect on compliance and recidivism</i> (Unpublished dissertation). Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas.


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