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Graduate Defense: Makayla Butler

March 6 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Thesis Defense

Thesis Information

Title: Organizational Attributes And Supervision Officer Role Orientations: What Factors Influence Supervision Officer Behaviors

Program: Master of Arts in Criminal Justice

Advisor: Dr. Lucas Alward, School of Public Service

Committee Members: Dr. Jacqueline Lee, School of Public Service and Dr. Linsey Belisle, School of Public Service


While past research has suggested the importance of probation and parole officer (PPO) role orientations for impacting officer behavior and client outcomes, limited work has examined factors that influence how supervision officers approach their work. The objective of this study sought to contribute to this body of research by examining the influence of officer characteristics, attitudes towards their organization and clients on their professional role orientations and subsequent supervision behaviors. Using self-reported survey data collected from PPOs in a Midwest state (n = 50), this study examined how various individual and organizational-level factors impacted PPOs role orientations, and how those role orientations affected officer behavior. Results from linear and non-linear regressions found that officers with assistance-oriented role orientations were more likely to report increased perceptions towards the use evidence-based practices (EBPs). Officers who held more positive perceptions of EBPs were associated with increased perceptions of proactive referral practices. Optimistic attitudes toward clients were associated with reduced odds of PPO filing a written sanction, while larger caseloads increased the odds of revocation filings. Findings have the potential to inform policy and practice within community corrections, especially concerning PPO training and education.