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Limits of Individual Control?: Perceived Officer Power and Probationer Compliance

NCJ Number
Journal of Criminal Justice Volume: 37 Issue: 3 Dated: May/June 2009 Pages: 241-247
Hayden P. Smith; Brandon K. Applegate; Alicia H. Sitren; Nicolette Farello Springer
Date Published
June 2009
7 pages
This study examined the sources of power probationers believe their supervising officers possess and to what extent these bases of power are related to probationers' misbehaviors.
Regarding perceptions of officers, this study revealed similarities to prior research. Both groups of subjects tended to report the highest levels of agreement that their officers' power was based on the legitimacy of their position, their fairness and respectfulness, and their ability to impose punishments for inappropriate behavior. The results seemed to appear to be in harmony with the nature of probation. This study addressed a significant gap in the power literature, as no previous studies had examined the bases of power within the probation setting. The study drew on a classic typology to examine the role of power in probation supervision. Perceptions of power and their impact on probationers' compliances were examined using data collected from self-report surveys and case files of 376 misdemeanor probationers. Tables and references