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Probation Officer Roles: A Statutory Analysis

Volume 79 Number 3
December 2015

There are a limited number of studies that explore the legally prescribed roles of probation officers. To address this, the current study employed a statutory analysis to examine how probation officer roles have changed over the past 30 years, identifying which tasks and roles are statutorily mandated for probation officers. Findings indicate that there is an emergence of a "case manager" approach in the legally prescribed roles for probation officers in many states, even though law enforcement-oriented tasks are slightly more prescribed by law than rehabilitation-oriented tasks.