Fear and Loathing in Parole Supervision

Sean Blackwell Fear and Loathing in Parole SupervisionMy research explores how identity shapes community corrections officers’ (CCO’s) implementation of and responses to criminal justice reforms designed to promote rehabilitation. Whilst serving as a CCO in the United States, I took this photograph to document the items we located during an extensive search of a parolee’s house prior to arresting him for an alleged violent sexual assault. Most of items we located constituted parole violations; however, it was of interest to me that these items could easily be found in many adjacent homes occupied by non-supervised persons and would not be seen as evidence of criminal or dangerous conduct. CCO’s often impute ‘dangerousness’ to supervisees as part of their desire to protect communities; yet, if supervisees are so ‘dangerous’, then how are CCO’s supposed to moderate a desistance and rehabilitation process?