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

Date

2019-05

Authors

Mueller, Kyle

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Abstract

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.

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Keywords

Probation, Interpersonal procedural justice

Citation

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 (Unpublished dissertation).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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