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    nimacu's Avatar
    nimacu Posts: 5, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Jun 7, 2005, 09:51 AM
    Should Probation Officers Undergo Psychological testing?
    I'm in the middle of doing research for a law firm in Michigan
    Concerning whether probation officers should be required to under go
    Psychological testing like police officers do. If anyone has any
    Comments or stories they would like to share concerning this topic
    Please feel free, I'm willing to listen to either side of the
    Argument. Right now I'm fresh out of new ideas for research, so I
    Thought perhaps posting on a message board and receiving responses
    Might help me remove the mental roadblock I've erected.

    serialwife's Avatar
    serialwife Posts: 117, Reputation: 16
    Junior Member

    Jun 7, 2005, 04:28 PM
    I have a friend who used to be a parole officer I think she is fairly well balanced. I haven't ever seen a need for probation and parole officers to have a psych eval. Next we would be wanting social workers,teachers, and bus drivers to have psych evaluations. In a lot of instances prob and parole officers are former police officers and have been evaluated. Check the relationship between parole officers and former cops.
    nimacu's Avatar
    nimacu Posts: 5, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Jun 8, 2005, 06:26 AM
    All of those jobs you listed, while important don't offer the complete control over another individual that being a probation officer does. And as far as a social worker, I'm not sure I'd want a social worker working with my family who was still traumatized by something that happened in her/his own childhood. That's not to say that if they've dealt with that trauma they wouldn't be a good social worker, in fact they might be a better one for having lived through it and survived. But someone (probation officer/ social worker) who still has serious issues and/or and axe to grind because of some trauma they suffered? They could make life miserable for a lot of people because they have issues.
    HANK's Avatar
    HANK Posts: 98, Reputation: 5
    Junior Member

    Jun 8, 2005, 09:50 AM
    Just Checkin':
    A background check of a probation officer wouldn't hurt!

    HANK :D
    nimacu's Avatar
    nimacu Posts: 5, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Jun 8, 2005, 11:24 AM
    We do background checks on probation officers in Michigan, but they don't offer anything more than a financial and legal history. But I definitely think it's a good idea to have them.
    serialwife's Avatar
    serialwife Posts: 117, Reputation: 16
    Junior Member

    Jun 8, 2005, 02:06 PM
    I think background checks are pretty standard throughout the country. I find it amusing that you feel a probation and parole officer has more influence over ones life than a social worker. Is that because the parole officer wields the authority and you could land back in prison. Social workers have an opportunity to effect you, your children, and potentially other relatives. Children can be taken away and placed with people who will care for them. It's up the person to work with their social worker. Some days I feel like a parole officer. As for the whole deal with damaged workers... I find that too humorous 80% of people who go into psychology are seeking to find out what is wrong with them be it on a conscious or unconscious manner. I really think psych evals are to subjective to do any real good.
    nimacu's Avatar
    nimacu Posts: 5, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Jun 14, 2005, 06:16 AM
    I'm glad you find me so amusing. I should probably tell you I've been trained to be a probation officer, I'm just working at a law firm until the fall. That said, Probation officers do control if you go back to jail or not; but they also can tell you where to go and not to go (at their discretion w/o giving notice) they can tell you when you can and can't do something (again at their discretion). They have to approve of your job, where you live, who's in your home, what' you're doing Friday night. And if you don't do what they say or follow their guidelines they have the authority to arrest you (at least according to Michigan law).
    serialwife's Avatar
    serialwife Posts: 117, Reputation: 16
    Junior Member

    Jun 14, 2005, 07:46 AM
    I didn't mean amusing in a bad way. In a lot of ways probabtion and parole officers and social workers do a lot of the same things. We can tell them to do all the same thing you can but if they fail to do so we get a court order and take the kids. In KY we have pretty similar laws to Michigans Prob and Parole from what I have read. I do not dispute that prob an parole is an important job.
    nimacu's Avatar
    nimacu Posts: 5, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Jun 21, 2005, 12:41 PM
    Important it is... very important.
    fredg's Avatar
    fredg Posts: 4,929, Reputation: 674
    Ultra Member

    Jun 22, 2005, 05:31 AM
    Probation Officers
    Definitely YES.
    Probation officers are very much involved in personal and family matters not to undergo testing and evaluations before they are hired!!
    It's ridiculous to hire someone for a position such as this without testing and also thorough background checks.
    They should also have a degree in the some type of field, such as Social Work.
    Best wishes,
    mike145k's Avatar
    mike145k Posts: 123, Reputation: -1

    Jun 30, 2005, 06:44 PM
    A better way
    I think the testing will be a waste of money I believe a better trainning course would help keep the level of personal at a particular target,also it will improve the operation as a whole.
    magprob's Avatar
    magprob Posts: 1,877, Reputation: 299
    Ultra Member

    Dec 19, 2005, 10:28 PM
    Psych testing
    As a retired probation officer, I can tell you I firmly believe that any probation officer that carries a gun damn well should be psych tested. I have worked with a few of them that made me nervous when they were in possession of a ball point pen! There are flakes in every field but I think the powers of arrest and the use of a gun, coupled with the ability to inflict deadly force, is at issue here.
    Fr_Chuck's Avatar
    Fr_Chuck Posts: 81,268, Reputation: 7689

    Dec 19, 2005, 10:37 PM
    Probation officer
    Most of the probation jobs I know of ( from my state and the state where I used to be in law enforcement and corrections for years)

    The probation officer ( with the exception of private probation companies that do city probation) are preferred jobs and get high competition for them. There will be hundreds of applicants for every one opening.

    There is written testing, a background check, annual training, lots of training before they start their first day. These are most often the best of the best from either the police departments or the correctional departments.

    The majority of these officers (probation) are highly educated and motivated. What often is the real problem is that they have a case load that should be done by 3 officers but because of budget cuts they have to do it all.

    And like the police officer and the correctional officers they hear it all, every sob story of why this could not happen, or why they missed this meeting or that. After a while they don't care any more if it is true or not, merely following the rule book is all that matters.

    Then they may also see the officer who tries to do harder and better, get left behind by the officer who merely follows the book no matter what, since they will not have any "issues" for not following a rule, they may not have any success stories, but they also will not have any other problems either.

    So all of the probation officers I have ever know are tested very highly, are picked from the best a state has to offer. This does not mean that someone could not become bitter or find they don't like their job after they are there. Or perhaps a women who just hates men,or a manwho hates one race more. It all slips though at times.

    tomkitty's Avatar
    tomkitty Posts: 5, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    May 9, 2008, 09:19 PM
    Yes, I do think that Probation Officers should Undergo Psychological testing.
    These are people who try to guide people who have made bad choices. They should be randomly drug and alcohol screened as well. There should also be surveys done, by their clients, judges and Lawyers to see if they are making a difference or not.

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