Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work


School of Social Work

First Reader/Committee Chair

Morris, Teresa


Continuing criminal justice approaches have led to persistent recidivism among parolees and probationers. This study investigates the observed influence recidivism has on individuals on parole and probation. This research project aimed to shed more light on the attitudes of parolees and probationers and to provide more insight into recidivism and its contributing factors. Focus groups were held to provide the data for this research. Also a survey was distributed to 13 male and 4 female parolees and probationers over the age of 18 who were previously or currently on probation and/or parole. The emphasis was on participant perception and not on professional reports because of underreporting and lack of attention to their opinions. Incarceration was found to negatively affect perceived reintegration. The attitudes and feelings of parolees/probationers were deemed minimally important when deciding to return a parolee/probationer to prison/jail. Opportunities for support and treatment continue to be limited and seldom achieved. Implications include a desire for rehabilitation and the intention for parolees to avoid recidivist behaviors. Based on data from the survey administered, parolees and probationers do not feel they should be returned to prison or jail for a relapse to drug or alcohol use. Rather, they feel that more help is needed in order to remain out-of-custody. They report an improvement in their quality of life when active in services. Social workers are an integral part in helping to promote the continued advocacy of parolees and probationers and providing them support in accessing available resources. The central finding of this study was that recidivism can be reduced without punitive measures. In substantiating this claim, the research critically comments on the hope and determination that parolees and probationers possess.