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Parole, protection observer chooses sympathy, returns to prison decline

The graph shows a steady reduction in parole and probation violations (left) and a return to imprisonment (right) in the 10 months following empathy training. Credit: Jason Okonofua

The burden of heavy incidents, work stress, and prejudice can strain parole and the relationship between protection observers and their clients, increasing the likelihood that criminals will land behind the bar.


As a more hopeful note, a new study at the University of California, Berkeley found that non-judgmental empathy training made court-appointed supervisors feel more emotionally connected with clients, arguably a criminal retreat. Suggests that it can be stopped.

The findings were published in the journal on March 29th. Minutes of the National Academy of SciencesShows an average reduction of 13% in recidivism among parole and protection observer clients who participated in empathy training experiments at the University of California, Berkeley.

“If officers were trained in this empathic manner, the outcome of the actual actions of those they supervised changed, and as a result, they were less likely to return to prison,” said research leader and psychology. Says Jason O’Conofua, an assistant professor of scholarship and senior author. At the University of California, Berkeley.

The results are particularly striking in the face of prisons and national efforts to reduce prison population in the face of deadly pandemics and other adversities. The US criminal justice system has the highest recidivism rates, with about two-thirds of those imprisoned being re-arrested within three years of their release and half being sent back to prison.

“The combination of COVID-19 and ongoing criminal justice reforms has led more people to probation or parole from imprisonment, so we need to develop scalable ways to respond to this change. “Okonohua, who led a similar intervention, said. To check their prejudices before school teachers discipline students.

At the invitation of the correction department of a metropolitan east coast, a graduate student in his lab at Okonohua and the University of California, Berkeley, a more compassionate approach on the part of a court-appointed supervisor reverses the tendency for recidivism I tried to find out if.

In particular, parole and protection observers keep track of clients’ whereabouts, avoid missing drug tests or court hearings, and otherwise violate the terms of release, and avoid getting into trouble. Provides resources. From prison.

For this study, researchers investigated more than 200 parole and protection observers who oversaw more than 20,000 convicted of crimes ranging from violent crimes to minor theft. A survey protocol bar that identifies institutions and their locations.

Researchers used the methodology of themselves and other scholars to design and conduct a 30-minute online empathy survey focusing on executives’ views on work motives, prejudices, relationships and responsibilities.

To elicit their goals and values ​​and harness their empathy, a study at the University of California, Berkeley asked what part of the job they felt they had accomplished. One respondent said, “When I come across those people and they’re doing well, I’m like’great!'”. Others have reported that being an advocate for those in need is of paramount importance to them.

Regarding dealing with biases, including the assumption that certain people are vulnerable to criminal life, the investigation cited a terrible case of protection observers and parolees abusing their power over those under their supervision.

Investigators were also asked to assess how liable they were for their peer breaches, as individuals and as members of the profession. Most people said they were not responsible.

Ten months after the training, researchers found a 13% reduction in recidivism for criminals who completed parole and sympathy investigations by protection observers.

The study did not provide details on why parolees and probationers prevented recidivism during the post-empathy training period for police officers, but the results show that changes in the dynamics of relationships play an important role. It suggests that.

“We are in a position to influence whether a person on parole or probation will have an empathic or punitive relationship in a way that is not the case,” said Okonohua.

“As our study shows, the relationship between protection observers and parolees and the people they supervise plays a vital role and can lead to positive results if more understanding efforts are taken into account. There is sex, “he added.


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For more information:
Jason A. Okonofua et al. , “Scalable empathic oversight intervention to mitigate recidivism from probation and parole” PNAS (2021). www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.2018036118

Courtesy of the University of California, Berkeley

Quote: In case of parole, the volunteer probation officer chooses sympathy and returns to the decline of the prison (March 30, 2021) March 30, 2021 https://phys.org/news/2021-03-parole-probation- Obtained from officers-empathy-decline.html

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Parole, protection observer chooses sympathy, returns to prison decline

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