Teamwork is the glue that keeps a group of people together. It has been emphasized time and again since our days in school. But how does one apply teamwork in the justice, law enforcement, probation, and corrections field?
Justice Clearinghouse invited two resource speakers to talk about the effective use of teams in the probation supervision process. Paul Ventura and Tiffany Griffith are both from the Yavapai County, Arizona working in the probations department.
Paul Ventura has an extensive career as a Probation Officer where he supervised intensive, standard, interstate and sex offenders. He graduated from the Northern Arizona University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice and Master’s Degree in Applied Sociology.
Meanwhile, Tiffany Griffith serves as a Drug Court Probation Officer with experience working with intensive and standard probationers, DUIs, and sex offenders. She also works for new recruits’ training and development. She graduated from the Remington College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice.
On this course, Tiffany and Paul share their experience and best practices, and discussed:
- General statistics and trends surrounding probation and parole on a national scale.
- How drugs and alcohol are part of what probation deals with.
- Information that paints a picture of what Yavapai County's probation team and its services look like.
The Yavapai County's Drug Court models' services that include:
- Screening and reassessment
- Judicial interaction
- Monitoring and supervision
- Treatment and rehabilitation
- Graduated sanctions and incentives
- The composition of Yavapai County’s team that work together towards the clients’ positive behavior change.
- The importance of communication for the team to function.
- Statistics on Drug Court supervision, success, and recidivism.
- How the drug court’s model, services, and team enhance a probationer’s likelihood for positive change.
- A day in the life of a probation officer.
Key things to put in place to ensure things run smoothly:
- Good communication
- Division of labor
- Role clarification
- Use of evidence-based practices
- Fieldwork performed in teams
- A detailed list of the various roles involved in the probation court and their various responsibilities.
- Wrapping up all the information and how they tie up together.
- Poll questions determined the use of teams and field/residence contacts in the audience’s jurisdiction and their thoughts on using the team supervision models.
During the Q&A portion, Tiffany and Paul explained various topics raised by the participants including:
- The screening tools they’re using as mandated by the state of Arizona
- Reducing an offenders’ probation time as one of the incentives for clients
- Using the teamwork approach for intensive supervision and how it could be different for drug courts
- Key steps in developing a drug court supervision system and what happens when a client is in the system
- Using the team approach with general caseloads
- Addressing probationers who cheat on drug tests
- Balancing time as a probation officer when carrying out supervision