Communication is important in all facets of life, especially in the criminal justice arena. Whether it is a judge, a police officer, or a lawyer, miscommunication or poor communication skill can cause unnecessary problems. Probation officers like judges and lawyers are a key component in the functioning of the justice system.
As a probation officer, having good communication skill is important because communicating effectively is key to avoid misunderstanding. Any misunderstanding with the way probation officers communicate can cost an probationer his freedom. For example, people on parole or probation have many rules they must follow. Probation officers are charged with explaining and communicating those rules so that probationer understand what is allowed and not allowed. In communicating with probationer, probation officers need to be clear, direct and precise. They can be no room for miss-interpretation.
For example, a person who must be home at 9pm, or who must attend certain classes within a specific frame of time as maybe directed by the court, must understand from his or her probation officer that such requirement is important. Sometimes, the words that are used in communication can be troublesome. In communicating, how a probation officer chooses his or her words, and what kind of words she or he chooses can be result in misunderstanding. In addition, Probation officers often make decisions when to report a violator to the Judge based on a violation which can be the result of poor communication. A probation officer must always make it clear to an probationer that violation of the rules will result in serious consequences which may include going to prison. At every meeting with a probationer, a probation officer must make extra effort to be clear, to communicate clear objectives to the probationer which leave no room for interpretation or miscommunication.
6 Important Qualities Needed to Become a Probation Office. (.n.d.) Retrieved
Personal Characteristics & Skills of a Probation Officer. (.n.d.) Retrieved
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