This case study is about what a probation officer’s view of effectiveness is and how it can affect his or her view of the job. The local newspaper ran a 3-part article about the probation office and how it was not living up to the expectations of the citizens. The articles discussed how the recidivism rate for the department was high and the department did not utilize social programs in the community. Whose interests were served in the newspaper’s evaluation of the probation office and whose will be served by the proposed evaluation from the department?
What theory or theories of effectiveness are represented in the proposed new evaluation format? And what process and outcome measures are included in the evaluation? What domain of activity do these cover? Is the meaning of the variables clear? The newspaper article served the interest of the probationer’s, citizens of the community, social service agencies, and the probation office. If the article had never been published there is a good chance there would not be a change in the operations of the probation office and the citizens of the community and probation officers would not see a change in the recidivism of probationers.
The proposed evaluation will serve the probationers due to the fact that he or she will receive more options to break the cycle of crime. It will serve the citizens of the community by breaking the cycle of crime therefore crime rates will decrease. And, it will serve the probation officer’s as he or she can feel better about the options available for their probationers and the programs he or she can refer to them. The process approach and the system resource model are both prevalent in this case study.
According to Steers, “the process approach consists of three related components: goal optimization, a systems perspective, and an emphasis on behavior within organizations” (Stojkovic, Kalinich and Klofas, 2003). In the case study, the officers and the leader discuss how the organization needs to look at how much time the officers are spending with each client, where they are spending this time, and what the probation officer is doing in this time. This type of study is putting the emphasis on behavior within the organization.
In the system resource model the effectiveness is based on “the extent that it can obtain needed resources from its environment” (Stojkovic, Kalinich and Klofas, 2003). An officer in the case study discusses getting his clients in touch with the social agencies in the community to help break the cycle. This is an example of the system resource model. This evaluation will use the gross malfunction analysis. The probation system in the community is considered a failure. The evaluation in which the leader and officers are proposing will examine the reasons for the failure.
Another good analysis is the revelatory analysis. This analysis is reflected in the use of social programs by probation officers and his or her client. It will also show how well the probation officers are utilizing inside and outside resources to help eliminate recidivism? The domain of activity these evaluations cover and the studies the probation office wants to utilize are the effectiveness-for-whom and the tendency for effectiveness criteria to influence behavior within organizations.
By using the malfunction and revelatory evaluations the probation office and citizens of the community will have a better understanding of the operations and activities of the probation officers. The newspaper article in this study helped to bring about some positive changes for the probation office. The probation officers received a supervisor who included him or her in planning and implementing the type of evaluation needed to decrease the recidivism of all the probation clients.
The effectiveness of the probation office became a propriety project not only for the probation supervisor but for the probation officers. The officers were able to feel as if the evaluation was his or her project and therefore he or she would benefit from it. The supervisor brain-storming with the officers gave the officers a sense of ownership over the evaluation and therefore when the results are returned he or she will be more compelled to help find solutions to the problems.
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