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Grand AllianceProbation Officer and Therapist (From Handbook of Sex Offender Treatment, P 66-1 - 66-7, 2011, Barbara K. Schwartz, ed. - See NCJ-243091)

NCJ Number
Rebecca Palmer, M.S.; Terry D. Childers, L.I.C.S.W.
Date Published
7 pages
This chapter distinguishes the roles of the therapist and the probation officer (PO) in the management of sex offenders and notes the importance of the cooperative features of their cooperation.
Both the therapist and the PO serve the client, the court, and the community. In addition, the PO acts as the referral source for enlisting the services of the therapist in case management. The goal of the PO is to monitor the client's behavior while on probation so as to ensure compliance with probation conditions. The goals of the therapist are to guide the client in acknowledging his/her abusive sexual behavior and work toward resolving factors that contribute to and maintain such behaviors. The strategies of the PO are to conduct home and office visits, communicate with all involved systems, and act as case manager. The tool of the PO is the court order that mandates the client's probation. The therapist's tools are objective tests, polygraph exams, Abel screening, and the plethysmograph. Regarding the interaction of the PO and the therapist, the first order of business in pretreatment planning is for the therapist to develop a clear and consistent communication with the probation officer. The PO's function is to provide information to the therapist, corroborate information, and supervise the offender. The assistance of the probation officer is also necessary in stage two of treatment. In this stage, the offender is expected to understand his cycle of offending and be able to share this understanding with his spouse or significant other. In the third and last stage of treatment, the PO spends time with the offender and his significant others reviewing what has changed throughout the course of treatment. 1 figure, 1 table, and 7 references