Vicarious Trauma and Community Corrections Officers in Canada

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Mikasko, Ashley
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The aim of this phenomenological study was to explore the essence of vicarious trauma in community corrections officers. Nine probation and parole officers from across Canada were interviewed regarding their experiences to stressors related to the supervision of offenders. There were four recurring themes established throughout the study including changes in worldview and safety, workplace pressures, departmental shortcomings, and mental health stigma. Findings indicated the presence of vicarious trauma symptoms within this population, contributing to intrusions in both professional and personal domains. Symptoms included issues with trust and increased judgment of others, hypervigilance, rumination, emotional detachment, and challenges in interpersonal relationships. Highlighting officer experiences serves to bring awareness to the challenges officers face, their needs, and potential gaps in departmental policies, procedures, and guidelines. It is intended that gaining a deeper understanding in this area may help to facilitate further research to implicate change in provincial and federal policies that promote the well-being of officers. Overall, proactive measures to address officer well-being aims to improve case management of offenders emphasizing public safety.
vicarious trauma , phenomenological research , secondary trauma , probation officer , parole officer
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States , openAccess