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Who Is Killing Our Probation Officers: The Performance Crisis in Community Corrections

Domurad, Frank
June 4, 2015

Source: (2000) Corrections Management Quarterly. 4(2): 41- 51.

Restorative and community justice models of corrections are placing probation and parole agencies under severe strain. The complex and rapidly changing outcomes that these models demand cannot be accomplished within a bureaucratic institutional structure. As the private sector has learned, efforts to do so will create an irreconcilable split between an organization’s leaders and followers. Collaborative organizations require middle-level managers and line staff to possess competencies couched at a high level of generality and applicability. Such competencies might include ownership of mission, strategic decision making, cooperative team building, dynamic case management, effective correctional programming, and the judicious use of authority. They focus on understanding and manipulating the broad purpose of the community correctional mission and demand performances that are centered on projects and work rather than jobs and tasks. They provide managers and officers with a set of knowledge, attitudes, and skills that are portable from one challenge to the next. Each of these human dimensions of transformational change must occur simultaneously for any community correctional organization to leap successfully into a post-bureaucratic world without opening an impenetrable chasm of conflicting expectations between leaders and followers. Abstract courtesy of National Criminal Justice Reference Service,


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