Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Jill Stinson

Committee Members

Julia Dodd, Andrea Clements, Stacey Williams


The current prevailing approach to managing offenders in the community involves community supervision professionals such as probation and parole officers partnering with other community professionals, such as psychologists, social workers, and other mental health providers to address offenders’ needs. Each type of professional draws from a unique field with goals, values, and theoretical orientations, which do not necessarily overlap. These relationships are rarely studied, and previous examinations are limited. The current study aims to address this deficit in the empirical literature. Drawing on data obtained from qualitative interviews, four aims were examined. First, using thematic analysis, interview data are analyzed open-endedly to identify major themes. Second, these partnerships are examined against the interprofessional competencies in the healthcare system. Third, the perceived impact of partnerships on offenders’ success in the community is discussed. Finally, differences in themes within community supervision professionals and mental health providers were quantitatively examined by comparing groups using a variety of demographic variables. Major themes identified by mental health providers include the appreciation for and challenges to collaboration, individual characteristics and roles, characteristics of collaboration, elements of interprofessional relationship, and the involvement of the courts. Community supervision professionals discussed issues pertaining to collaboration and services coordination, professional roles, when conflict occurs, and their lack of basic knowledge about other professionals. Themes identified in the initial thematic analysis resembled healthcare values and ethics competencies and roles and responsibilities competences; healthcare competencies regarding interprofessional communication and teamwork showed partial congruence with the current data’s themes. Perceived impact on offender outcomes was most evident in how collaboration helps each professional complement the others’ work. Few significant quantitative patterns within groups were evident. Overall, treatment providers and supervision professionals value interprofessional collaboration. Their priorities differ, which provides better opportunities to address clients’ needs but also creates the potential for conflict. Benefits to re-entry outcomes are the result of treatment providers addressing the needs of clients and supervision professionals addressing the motivation of clients. This research highlights the strengths of this type of interprofessional collaboration, and offers suggestions for improving the efficacy of collaborations.

Document Type

Dissertation - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.

Included in

Psychology Commons