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Officers as Change Agents

U.S. Probation Officers serve the court, persons under supervision, and the community by enforcing conditions of release and facilitating positive prosocial change. As agents of the court, probation officers are committed to assisting in the fair administration of justice and managing and reducing the risk to reoffend. The goals for persons under supervision are:

  • adherence to court ordered conditions;
  • lawful self-management (i.e., realize thoughts are linked to behavior and make personal choices not to engage in criminal behavior);
  • preparation for continued success through improvements in their conduct and condition;
  • successful completion of supervision.

The period of supervision is an opportunity to develop skills and motivation to remain lawful, eventually without the oversight and support of the justice system. Probation officers utilize assessment tools to identify risks and needs, and provide resources as authorized by the court. Some resources and behavioral interventions are:

  • cognitive behavioral treatment;
  • mental health treatment;
  • substance abuse treatment;
  • sex offender treatment; and
  • vocational training.

Probation officers facilitate change in the behavior of persons under supervision by structuring interactions and contacts to:

  • establish a working relationship with the client as an active participant;
  • clarify roles and expectations;
  • provide reinforcement for positive behavioral change and learning;
  • hold accountable and address noncompliant behavior;
  • foster learning and skill development to support lawful self-management;
  • teach and reinforce the relationship between thinking and behavior; and
  • encourage connections with prosocial people and activities.

The Eastern District of Arkansas Probation Office wants persons under supervision to successfully complete their term of supervision and become lawful, positive influences in the community.

The link below contains additional information about U.S. Probation Officers.

Probation and Pretrial Officers and Officer Assistants