Date of Conferral

2017

Degree

Ph.D.

School

Human Services

Advisor

Sandra Harris

Abstract

The high recidivism rate of Black male juvenile offenders is a problem in the United States that continues to be of great concern. Probation has gained popularity as being a means of addressing and reducing the high recidivism rates of juvenile offenders. However, there is a lack of research regarding Black male juvenile probationers' perceptions of their probation officers' role in reducing their recidivism. This study examined the following: a) the predictive relationships between Black male probationers' perceptions of their probation officers, their perceptions of the probation officers' job, and their recidivism within 3 years of being place on probation; and (b) Black male probationers' perceptions of their probation officers, their perceptions of the probation officers' job, and their ratings of the probation officer's effectiveness in deterring their recidivism. Ecological systems theory was used as the theoretical foundation for guiding this research. Results from a logistic regression analysis showed that Black male probationers' perceptions of their probation officers and the job of their probation officers did not predict their recidivism. The study has implications for social change because the results provide empirical evidence regarding Black male probationer's perceptions of their probation officers and recidivism. Human services professionals, leaders in the criminal justice field, and policy makers could use findings from the study to advocate for the need to develop training programs for probation officers that foster positive relationship building between probationers and probation officers. The positive relationships may subsequently bring social change by reducing recidivism among Black juvenile male offenders.