U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Probation Officers' and Supervisors' Perspectives on Critical Resources for Implementing Specialty Mental Health Probation

NCJ Number
Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research Dated: 2020
Tonya B. Van Deinse; Erika L. Crable; Charlotte Dunn; Jessamyn Weis; Gary Cuddeback
Date Published
6 pages
This article reports the findings and methodology of a qualitative study that identified and examined the resources that probation officers need to implement specialized mental health probation caseloads, a promising practice that improves mental health treatment engagement and reduces recidivism among probationers with mental illnesses.
The research team conducted a directed content analysis guided by the Practical, Robust Implementation and Sustainability Model (PRISM) to analyze qualitative interviews with 16 specialty mental health probation officers and their supervising chiefs. Results indicated five components and resources related to multiple PRISM constructs: (1) reduction in caseload sizes (intervention design); (2) probation officers' ability to build rapport and individualize probation (organizational staff characteristics); (3) specialized training that is offered regularly (implementation and sustainability infrastructure); (4) regular case staffing and consultation (implementation and sustainability infrastructure); and (5) communication and collaboration with community-based providers (external environment). Findings indicate that agencies which implement specialized mental health probation approaches should give priority to the selection of officers and chiefs, along with the establishment of the infrastructure for implementing and sustaining specialty mental health probation. (publisher abstract modified)