The Influence of Parole Officers' Attitudes on Supervision Practices

Benjamin Steiner, Lawrence F. Travis, Matthew D. Makarios, Taylor Brickley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


The supervision of offenders conditionally released into communities is one of the primary functions of parole officers. Scholars have hypothesized that officers' attitudes towards supervision may influence their job performance. Yet there are few studies which have examined the influence of parole officers' attitudes on their actual supervision practices, and studies of the attitude-behavior relationship among other justice system actors have revealed mixed findings. This study involved an examination of the relationship between officers' attitudes towards supervision and their supervisory responses to offender behavior. Findings revealed that officers' attitudes influence their intended behaviors. However, results of the analyses of the potential relationship between officers' attitudes and their actual behaviors were mixed. Officers' attitudes had no effect on their rate of issuing community-based sanctions, but officers who held more authoritative attitudes were more likely to pursue revocation hearings for offender noncompliance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)903-927
Number of pages25
JournalJustice Quarterly
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2011


  • attitude
  • offender
  • officer
  • parole
  • supervision

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Law


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