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.
|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|
|Subjects:||Mental health, Behavioral psychology, Criminology, Public policy|
|Keywords:||Mental heath, Probation, Probation officers, Probationers with mental illness, Rehabilitation, Treatment|
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