Unpacking the relationship between probationers with serious mental illnesses and probation officers: A mixed-methods examination [2017]

This study examines the relationship between a sample of 98 probationers with serious mental illnesses (SMI) and probation staff in three programs: mental health court, specialized mental health probation, and standard probation. Probationers in the mental health court rated the quality of their relationships with probation officers higher than did those in standard probation. Qualitative analyses highlight caring as a bedrock relational factor upon which other relationship dimensions rest, and the important role of support in developing and maintaining therapeutic relationships. Findings shed light on the importance of relational experiences in the context of probation supervision for people with SMI.

Matthew W. Epperson, Julian G. Thompson, Arthur J. Lurigio & Soyeon Kim

Journal of Offender Rehabilitation, Volume 56, 2017 – Issue 3