Introduction to criminal and justice system

Probation Officers (indeed most positions in the correctional system) are viewed as having a dual role. On the one hand they are expected to “enforce” conditions imposed by the court; and they are also expected to “aid” the offender. This duality or tension is sometimes phrased as punishment v. treatment; cop v. social worker; and control v. assistance. A good Probation Officer has to do both – enforce rules AND aid the offender. If you were a Probation Officer which role would you feel most comfortable with; and how would you manage the tension between these two roles?

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