Post Prison Supervision - New Tactics Yielding Better Results
Edward Latessa deserves an award. As a researcher and professor at the University of Cincinnati, he has helped to make the lives of people under correctional supervision (parole or probation) easier and more productive.
Latessa found that the "old" way of supervising parolees and probationers was ineffective, and perhaps even cruel. With large caseloads, parole and probation officers (PO) have too little time to spend with any one person on their caseload. The short meetings then are stuffed with standard questions (got a job? staying sober?) that fail to establish any connection or trust. The PO is thus seen as authoritarian.
The EPICS system (Effective Practices in Community Supervision) that Latessa helped to develop reduces caseloads because the PO is tasked with being a resource person, a strategist, and even a champion. From the website dedicated to the EPICS, you find that what works better than authoritarian tactics is how to be a partner to the person's change. Here's a link to the presentation.