Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

A Qualitative Study Examining the Impact of the Probation Experience for Probationers with Mental Illness
by Adekson, Babatunde Oluwaseun, Ph.D., University of Rochester, 2016, 219; 10109871
Abstract (Summary)

This qualitative research study was designed to investigate the probation experiences of probationers with mental illness (PMIs). The institutional and structural make-up of probation and the potential for stigma to impact and/or overshadow the experiences of probationers—and specifically their interactions with probation officers (POs)—resulted in the development of three research aims: (1) to elucidate the lived experiences of PMIs within the context of a variety of services available to them both in the criminal justice system and within the wider community; (2) to focus on the impact of the probation experience on PMIs, and; (3) to understand if and how stigma played a role in the probationary practices of POs.

This inquiry employed data from semi-structured interviews and observations of PO-PMI dyads in a county-based probation system to give voice to probationers with mental illness, who are among the most marginalized and stigmatized groups in contemporary American society. In providing PMIs with the opportunity to relate their probationary experiences, they also elucidated the complex role of probation officers as enforcer, mentor, ally, and hero. Results indicated that PMIs valued the efforts of their POs in facilitating a variety of developmental tasks and opportunities, and were largely compliant in the face of probation-mandated requirements. Findings from this investigation have broad implications in the fields of criminal justice and mental health counseling.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Douthit, Kathryn Z.
Commitee: Dubler, Joshua, Swanson, Dena P.
School: University of Rochester
Department: Margaret Warner Graduate School of Education and Human Development
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-B 77/10(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Mental health, Behavioral psychology, Criminology, Public policy
Keywords: Mental heath, Probation, Probation officers, Probationers with mental illness, Rehabilitation, Treatment
Publication Number: 10109871
ISBN: 9781339731407
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