Paper Type

Master's Thesis


College of Arts and Sciences

Degree Name

Master of Science in Criminal Justice (MSCJ)


Criminology & Criminal Justice

First Advisor

Dr. Charles E. 


This study reports on survey research into Florida Probation Officers' attitudes towards the causes of crime, the criminal offender and rehabilitation and treatment. The views on crime and on the offender are shaped by at least three major theoretical perspectives. First, this paper examines whether probation officers identify more with the classical theories, the biological theories or the sociological theories of criminology. Secondly, the probation officers' attitudes toward offenders are examined. For example, do probation officers express any positive opinions about the population they interact with, or do they feel that all offenders are equally bad? The third part of this research is geared towards the officers' attitudes about rehabilitation and treatment of offenders. Some current literature suggests that the field of probation is presently moving in a more punitive direction and away from the concept of rehabilitation. This research examines if this trend is reflected in probation officers' beliefs. In addition, the study shows how the probation officers in this sample feel about their jobs.