Probation officers’ roles in intensive supervision: Surveillance versus treatment

Todd R. Clear, Edward J. Latessa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

120 Scopus citations


This is a study of role conflict in two intensive supervision sites, Ohio and Georgia. Most authorities believe that the traditional roles of probation officers, “social work” and “law enforcement,” conflict and are potentially incompatible. This belief disagrees with the professional idea of role integration, on which little empirical work has been done. In this study, two questionnaires and five cases were given to 31 officers representing two sites with differing organizational philosophies. It was found that both the officers' philosophies and the case tasks varied between the sites. The “law enforcer” role appears to be a product of both personal philosophy and organizational policy, whereas the “social worker” role is influenced more heavily by organizational policy. The idea of role incompatibility was not supported.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)442-462
Number of pages21
JournalJustice Quarterly
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1993

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Law


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