The Probation Officer Investigates was first published in 1960. Paul W. Keve is an outstanding practitioner in the field of probation and parole. From his own experience and observation, he has prepared this guide to help others in an important aspect of their work. He points out: “Each probation officer makes his own contribution to the public’s eventual acceptance of a constructive penal philosophy by the high quality of his daily work. If that work is to be truly and consistently rehabilitative, it must be based upon sound diagnosis of each case, and this, of course, is the concern of this book.” A major task of probation officers is to investigate offenders before their courts and then to write comprehensive and analytical reports about the offenders, for the use of the court. In this book, Mr. Keve explains the philosophy of the preparation of pre-sentence reports and discusses in specific detail the techniques of preparing these reports in a significant, diagnostic way. He considers the problems of confidentiality, relationships with attorneys, techniques of interviewing, and style and format in the writing of the report. He proposes a form for a standard report, and discusses, separately, each category of material to be included. He reproduces two examples of actual (but disguised) reports in an appendix. The book will be particularly helpful to new probation officers. It will be useful, also, to the more experienced staff members, for inservice training programs, and in academic courses in the correctional field. For judges and attorneys, it provides insight into the philosophy and purposes of the probation report.
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