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Police-Probation Partnerships: Professional Identity and the Sharing of Coercive Power

NCJ Number
Journal of Criminal Justice Volume: 37 Issue: 1 Dated: January/February 2009 Pages: 65-76
Date Published
January 2009
12 pages

Building upon prior research, this study explored how interagency collaboration would potentially alter the role distinctions between police and probation officers, and how their common goals might be compromised or enhanced through partnership.


Study findings suggest that tension between organizational objectives threatens to create an imbalance of power between partnership participants (police and probation officers). As formal police-probation partnerships become more commonplace, the occasional incompatibility of police and probation functions becomes increasingly obvious. Understanding how police-probation partnerships create unique pressures on officers and ultimately reconciling the real or perceived incompatibility of police and probation objectives is an important prerequisite to partnership success. This study of a formally organized police-probation partnership in Spokane, WA provided an in-depth analysis of how police and probation officers viewed the strengths of partnership and the challenges posed to sharing their authority. Future research should analyze how the experiences and views shared by these officers participating in this innovative partnership would apply to similar collaborations elsewhere. Notes and references

Date Published: January 1, 2009