Conflict-Resolution Briefing

As a probation officer, you will work with communities and other officers to identify risks and integrate research with theories to explain and prevent criminal behavior. You will need to use conflict-resolution skills, such as active listening, when you encounter different opinions on strategies for handling offenders. Probation officers must be able to identify the policy implications associated with criminality in society to be ready to justify their decisions for crime prevention based on policy and evidence-based theories.


Assessment Deliverable


Sociologists and psychologists have proposed many theories over the years to try to explain criminal behavior. Among the psychosocial theories proposed are strain theory, Sutherland’s differential association theory, cultural transmission theory, and social control theory. 


For this assessment, community residents have been notified that the violent or sex offender from the case you’ll be selecting is planning to re-enter the neighborhood. Residents have asked for a probation officer to attend an upcoming meeting where the community will hold a briefing, listen to concerns, and answer questions to manage potential conflict and resistance.


Select and use an example of violent criminal behavior from a current event in your state and 1 psychosocial theory to interpret the criminal behavior. Use them to prepare a 525- to 700-word list of talking points as if you were a probation officer speaking to community residents during a briefing to justify decisions made in the case. Prepare for the briefing by listing the talking points that you will include in your notes while addressing the community. Provide evidence and explain rationale for the decisions made in the original case to support your open communication with residents.


Include the following information in your list of talking points for the briefing, with supportive examples from your research on the selected psychosocial theory and current event:

  • Criminal behavior: Summarize an example of violent criminal behavior from a current event in your state.
  • Psychosocial theory: Identify a psychosocial theory and summarize its basic principles. Explain why the selected theory or school of thought is a psychological or sociological approach. Describe how the theory furthers our understanding of crimes of violence.
  • Theory-policy connection: Describe how the theory can explain the behavior which is being targeted for prevention or prosecution. Identify a current policy that the theory may align to or support. Current policy examples include:
  • The U.S. Marshals Service’s “Operation Not Forgotten” policy program
  • The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ (ATF’s) policy of cooperating with local law enforcement to keep illegal firearms off the streets
  • United States Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA’s) policy for collaborating with local police to combat the use of fentanyl
  • Relate the policy to the criminal behavior. Explain what the theory implies for handling prosecution and prevention.
  • Policy implementation: Provide a valid reason or circumstance under which the individual could be ready to re-enter the community according to the theory in this case.


Format your talking points as complete sentences ready to be included into notes for the briefing. Organize your list into paragraphs, bullets, or another clear outline of ideas that could easily be read aloud while giving a briefing to an audience. 


Cite at least 2 scholarly sources that support your claims to show credibility for your justification.


Format citations and references according to APA guidelines.


Submit your assessment.


Assessment Support


  • Review the rubric for guidance on deliverable expectations.
  • Locate recent news on violent crime in your state by researching the News release page on the Offices of the United States Attorneys section of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) website. Filter for date, topic, and district to narrow your results and select a case study to use as an example for this assignment.
  • Access and read Framing a Law Enforcement Response: Addressing Community Concerns About Sex Offenders on the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) website for examples of talking points for law enforcement officers when answering questions from a community about managing sex offenders.


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