Is it possible for a parole officer to achieve both the cop and social worker roles simultaneously?Is it possible for a parole officer to achieve both the cop and social worker roles...

Is it possible for a parole officer to achieve both the cop and social worker roles simultaneously?

Is it possible for a parole officer to achieve both the cop and social worker roles simultaneously?

Expert Answers
Jessica Pope eNotes educator| Certified Educator

It's possible but not very effective. People need to have trusting, emotionally intimate relationships with their social workers. Social workers perform crisis intervention and counseling. They get you back on your feet when you relapse. Police officers put you in jail when you relapse. It's difficult to combine those two roles. What usually ends up happening instead is that the parole officer becomes a mere functionary, an administrative extension of the court. To prevent this, the more beneficent courts give offenders both social workers and parole officers. Some even mandate counseling with a clinical psychologist. It's important that offenders have someone they can trust despite having gotten into trouble with the law.

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator
To a certain extent I think a parole officer can serve both as a cop and as a social worker. The parole officer is in the position to enforce the terms of parole, but also assist the parolee in building a new life and staying out of trouble. Not easy, but maybe if we had more parole officers who could do it there would be fewer repeat offenders.