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In Pursuit of the Ideal Parent in Juvenile Justice: A Qualitative Investigation of Probation Officers' Experiences with Parents of Juvenile Offenders

NCJ Number
Journal of Offender Rehabilitation Volume: 52 Issue: 5-8 Dated: December 2013 Pages: 470-492
Tina Maschi; Craig Schwalbe; Jennifer Ristow
Date Published
December 2013
23 pages
This research investigates probation officers practices with parents of juvenile offenders.
The movement towards family focused justice emphasizes families, especially parents, as a critical component of juvenile offender rehabilitation, especially probation. However, there is a dearth of research on how probation officers involve the parents of juvenile offenders. This qualitative investigation attempts to fill that gap by exploring probation officers' practices with parents. Using a grounded theory approach, a conceptual model of the ideal parent of juvenile justice involved youth was developed. Probation officers explained that the ideal parent was able to support their child, accept their parental authority, and partner with probation officers in the probation process. The use of juvenile justice practices that fostered a parental ideal are discussed in light of emerging family justice approaches that embed youth in family and community contexts. The application of these findings for juvenile justice and other youth serving agencies are discussed. Abstract published by arrangement with Taylor and Francis.