Presentation Title

Variation in Sex Offender Parole Officer Relationships: Does Victim Age Matter?

Advisor Information

Lisa Sample

Location

Milo Bail Student Center Omaha Room

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Start Date

8-3-2013 1:30 PM

End Date

8-3-2013 1:45 PM

Abstract

Legally, sex offenders are treated as a homogenous group and are often all assigned to intensive parole supervision upon release from prison. Given the heterogeneous nature of the population, however, it is likely that the quality of supervision varies across offenders. This has implications for public safety because it alters the degree of control and the depth of rehabilitation attempts enforced on the sex offender. Previous studies find that the best control of an offender is achieved when a personal, informal relationship is formed between the offender and another prosocial adult. However, in the case of sex offenders, the age of victim may impact the type of relationship parole officers maintain with parolees. This study is a case study examination of the relationships between sex offenders and their parole officers. This study uses qualitative analysis of sex offender parole files to examine if informal relationships exist between offenders and officers and to analyze the variability of those relationships across officers and within officer caseloads. We find that informal relationships do exist, and variation occurs both across officers and within officer caseloads. However, this variation was not related to victim age of the offender but to other offender characteristics or life events.

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Mar 8th, 1:30 PM Mar 8th, 1:45 PM

Variation in Sex Offender Parole Officer Relationships: Does Victim Age Matter?

Milo Bail Student Center Omaha Room

Legally, sex offenders are treated as a homogenous group and are often all assigned to intensive parole supervision upon release from prison. Given the heterogeneous nature of the population, however, it is likely that the quality of supervision varies across offenders. This has implications for public safety because it alters the degree of control and the depth of rehabilitation attempts enforced on the sex offender. Previous studies find that the best control of an offender is achieved when a personal, informal relationship is formed between the offender and another prosocial adult. However, in the case of sex offenders, the age of victim may impact the type of relationship parole officers maintain with parolees. This study is a case study examination of the relationships between sex offenders and their parole officers. This study uses qualitative analysis of sex offender parole files to examine if informal relationships exist between offenders and officers and to analyze the variability of those relationships across officers and within officer caseloads. We find that informal relationships do exist, and variation occurs both across officers and within officer caseloads. However, this variation was not related to victim age of the offender but to other offender characteristics or life events.