One of the first contemporary works to bring together research focused on community corrections officers, Professional Lives of Community Corrections Officers: The Invisible Side of Reentry, by Faith E. Lutze, helps readers understand the importance of community corrections officers to the success of the criminal justice system. The author brings the important work of these officers out from the shadows of the prison and into the light of informed policymaking, demonstrating how their work connects to the broader political, economic, and social context. Arguing that they are “street-level boundary spanners” who are in the best position to lead effective reentry initiatives built on interagency collaboration, the author shows how community corrections officers can effectively lead a fluid response to reentry that is inclusive of control, support, and treatment. This supplement is ideal for community corrections or probation and parole courses to supplement core textbooks.
Chapter Seven: Investing in Community Corrections Officers as Street-Level Boundary Spanners
Investing in Community Corrections Officers as Street-Level Boundary Spanners
“We can live in fear and make bad policy based on fear or we can have some backbone and make policy based on what really helps our communities.” (Patricia L. Caruso, Director, Michigan DOC)1
As we engage in a new era of evidence-based practice and collaboration, defining CCOs as street-level boundary spanners provides a framework to guide policymakers toward constructing realistic policies and practices relevant to the future success of community corrections. Without considering the context in which CCOs work and offenders live, it is easy to oversimplify the professional role of CCOs as either law enforcement or social work, focused only on offender-centered interventions and working in isolation ...