Do You Really Want to Help Me? Practitioner Perspectives on a New Coaching Model for Probation Front-Line Supervisors



Toronjo, Heather

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The RNR model dominates evidence-informed approaches to community supervision, and it is incorporated into several trainings (e.g., STICS, STARR, EPICS, SOARING2) aimed at improving the practice of front-line probation officers. Important to these technology transfer models is the coaching component. However, studies on the existing models reveal glaring feasibility issues. Missing from much of the efforts to move science from “bench to trench,” is a conscious effort on the part of scholars to learn from the practitioners themselves. Despite the importance of provider perspectives highlighted by implementation science, scant literature exists on the perspectives of those tasked with using the RNR model in practice. This study aims to understand the important implementation domains of acceptability, appropriateness, and feasibility as conceptualized by Proctor et al. (2011) of the coaching component of a newly devised RNR training model called SUSTAIN. To understand the perspective of participants, this study interviewed (n=22) coaches-inxii training at four agencies implementing SUSTAIN. The half-hour to one hour-long semi-structured interviews occurred within one to two weeks of participants completing a two-day in-person coaches’ training which occurs around four months into the two-year projects. In considering the complexity of real-world service settings the findings will guide future SUSTAIN implementation efforts. Furthermore, and the process of obtaining and integrating feedback may serve as a guide for future implementation efforts of other evidence-informed practices trainings in community corrections settings.



Probation, Coaching, SUSTAIN, Evidence-based practices, Training