Do Coaches Practice What They Preach? An Evaluation of the Usage of Evidence-Based Practices Among Probation Officer Coaches

Tamara Kang, University of Texas at El Paso

Abstract

Probation supervision has the potential to serve a rehabilitative function through the use of evidence-based practices (EBPs; practices supported by empirical research). Often, when administrators adopt EBPs in their agency, these programs may not be implemented with fidelity by probation officers who interact with offenders. Thus, there is a critical need to examine methods of increasing the effectiveness of implementing EBPs among officers. One method, peer mentoring (i.e., coaches), is gaining popularity; however, little is known about the highly-motivated officers who volunteer to be coaches. Consequently, this dissertation investigates compliance with EBPs among officers who have volunteered to become coaches and will eventually mentor other officers on using EBPs. Multilevel model analysis was used to analyze 135 audio-recorded supervision sessions recorded either before or one month after the coaches participated in training on EBPs. Each audio-recorded supervision session was qualitatively coded with respect to the officer’s adherence to the EBPs taught during training. Analyses revealed that during supervision sessions audio-recorded prior to training where the offender responded with resistance, coaches used significantly fewer EBPs, and during sessions audio-recorded post-training where similarly the offender responded with resistance, coaches used more EBPs. During sessions that were audio-recorded post-training where the officer was unable to elicit reactions indicative of prosocial change from the offender, coaches used significantly fewer EBPs. The results are discussed in terms of the coaches’ adherence to the guidelines of the Risk-Need-Responsivity model of rehabilitation and motivational interviewing. Lastly, recommendations are provided for the agency on how to proceed after this one month evaluation of the agency’s officers who volunteered to mentor his or her peers.^

Subject Area

Criminology|Quantitative psychology

Recommended Citation

Kang, Tamara, "Do Coaches Practice What They Preach? An Evaluation of the Usage of Evidence-Based Practices Among Probation Officer Coaches" (2017). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI10278820.
http://digitalcommons.utep.edu/dissertations/AAI10278820

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