Probation Staff Attitudes Toward Substance Abuse Treatment and Evidence-Based Practices – 2016-05-23

Given the substantial need for and relatively low access to effective substance use disorder treatment for people on probation, it is critical to understand organizational and staff attitudes that may hinder or facilitate treatment linkage and willingness to adopt evidence-based practices. This study used survey data from a large county probation department to assess staff members’ attitudes and perceptions regarding their organization’s climate for innovation, role of substance use disorder treatment, support for evidence-based treatment, and organizational barriers to change. Probation staff were open to incorporating treatment into probation supervision, expressed support for rehabilitation models, and agreed that they would adopt innovations if required or they found them to be appealing. However, they expressed some concerns about the level of agency support for innovation and collaboration. Attitudes and perceptions varied by staff characteristics. Implications for expanding organizational change and adoption of evidence-based treatment practices in probation are discussed.

Steven Belenko, Ingrid D. Johnson, Faye S. Taxman, Traci Rieckmann
International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, May 23, 2016