Breaking Barriers: Refreshing the Reputation of Community Supervision by Introducing Defendants to an Educational Tool



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Texas Probation Institute for Leadership Excellence


John Augustus, acknowledged as the first American probation officer, believed he could save offenders from crime by his method of sympathetic supervision rather than cruel punishment (Chute & Bell, 1956). Barriers in community supervision, such as offenders lacking knowledge regarding the procedure of community supervision and negative offender and supervision officer relationships are regularly causes of recidivism. Research suggests a pivotal factor in influencing defendant behavior is the nature of the Community Supervision Officer (CSO) and defendant relationship (Leibrich, 1994). This paper focuses on the significance for Community Supervision and Corrections Departments to have an educational tool that informs offenders of the mission of community supervision and their expectations throughout their supervision term. CSOs receive education established on improving the supervision experience, objectively lessening recidivism but on the other end of the aspect, offenders do not. An introduction to offenders upon placement of supervision could result in the creation of a positive visualization of community supervision, motivation to seek positive offender and supervision officer relationships, and more successful supervision term completions.



John Augustus, probation officer, sympathetic supervision, community supervision, recidivism, Community Supervision Officer, education