“The moment he realized he needed our joint assistance made the difference”: A multiple case study into working elements in the supervision of probation clients with debt

G. Van Beek, Vivienne De Vogel, Dike van de Mheen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Abstract

Purpose
Little is known about effective supervision of offenders with debt. This multiple case study aims to gain insight into working elements in offender supervision on debt. This is important for probation officers to choose the most effective interventions in daily offender supervision.

Design/methodology/approach
This study included five best practice cases based on both interviews with involved professionals and clients and client file information. One case was described in detail to illustrate what probation officers and clients encounter when working on debt. All five cases were analyzed thematically using pattern matching techniques and crosscase syntheses on debt background, current supervision, barriers and working elements.

Findings
Organization processes and lack of aftercare hinder effective supervision. Close collaboration with other professionals (e.g. debt counselors) is important in supervising clients with debt. The client’s own behavior and motivation for supervision are crucial in the success of debt supervision and can be both hindering and effective. Working elements in supervision depend on personal characteristics of professionals involved and on the extent to which elements of a working alliance, particularly trust and bonding, are built.

Practical implications
Support and facilitation from probation organizations regarding primary conditions and collaboration, training professionals in methods of stimulating clients motivation and an effective working alliance are essential to supervise clients with debt adequately.

Originality/value
To the best of the authors’ knowledge, no other in-depth study has yet been conducted on working elements in supervision of probationers with debt.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)376-389
JournalJournal of Forensic Practice
Volume24
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Keywords

  • Crime
  • Debt
  • Probation work
  • STAFF
  • Supervision
  • Working elements

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