Date of Award

Spring 1999

Document Type



Communication Studies

First Advisor

Charlotte Jones

Second Advisor

Pravin Rodrigues

Third Advisor

Jeff Morris


People on probation and Parole make up a measurable portion of the population. Central to the success or failure of an offender on probation or parole is the communication between the offender and their probation or parole officer. Presently, little research has been done to determine the perceptions offenders on probation and parole have regarding the communication that occurs with their probation or parole officer. This research administered three directive questionnaires to people on probation and parole in an attempt to measure the level of trust, perception of understanding, and satisfaction they have with regards to the interaction with their probation and parole officers. The research suggests a correlation between trust and perceived understanding and an overall dissatisfaction with the interaction. In addition to the questionnaires, two open-ended questions were asked to discover common themes experienced by probationers and parolees in the communication they have with their probation and parole officers. From the responses nine patterns emerged. Further analysis revealed that four of the patterns seemed to be related to the concept of confirmation, and another four seemed to be related to the concept of disconfirmation. The subjects tended to report the confirming behaviors of listening, encouraging, caring, and communicating directly as confirming communication behaviors that they valued and the disconfirming communication behaviors of deceiving, controlling, de-humanizing and rushing as behaviors they disliked. The subjects also reported a fear of disclosure which may be related to disconfirmation in the interaction.