Agreement about Intervention Plans by Probation Officers

Authors Dr Jacqueline Bosker, C. Witteman, Dr Jo Hermanns
Published in Criminal Justice and Behavior
Publication date 1 January 2013
Research groups Working with Mandated Clients
Type Article


Introducing instruments to structure risk assessment has been shown to improve agreement between probation professionals about the assessment of offenders’ risks and needs. The subsequent decisions about intervention plans, however, are to a large extent still unstructured. This article addresses the question of whether probation officers agree about intervention plans and whether agreement differs between experienced and less experienced probation officers. A group of 44 Dutch probation officers wrote intervention plans for four cases in which the risk and needs assessment was given. Results showed that the overall agreement about the intervention plan is poor. Looking at the different domains of an intervention plan, agreement about the advice on the sanction, conditions, criminogenic needs to be addressed, and programs is fair. On all other domains (instructions, control, intensity of supervision, and goals), agreement is poor. Experience of the probation officers did not influence the agreement about the intervention plans substantially.

On this publication contributed

Language English
Published in Criminal Justice and Behavior
Year and volume 40 5
Key words probation officers, risk assessment, offenders
Page range 569-581

Jacqueline Bosker

Jacqueline Bosker

  • Professor
  • Research group: Working with Mandated Clients