Question

In 1500-2000 words, present the advantages, disadvantages, and trends in arming community corrections officers.

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To the extent that the safety of community corrections officers (CCOs) while they carry out their assignments in the field is a determinative factor, and to the extent that carrying a weapon mitigates the risks to safety, then—conceptually, at least—the prime advantage of arming CCOs is an enhancement of their safety. Note the conditional, contingent nature of the statement of this ‘advantage’. This is because, as the American Probation and Parole Association (APPA) presents in its position statement on Weapons (2017), the issue is far from straightforward. Hence the Association’s neutral—or, less charitably, equivocal—position that the APPA “neither supports nor opposes the carrying of weapons by probation and parole officers” (para. 1) - a position the Association has held since 1994.
In discussing the justification for its position, the APPA succinctly lays out the challenges inherent in the work of community corrections: CCOs are charged with balancing the often-conflicting goals of rehabilitation and law enforcement, while in fact being “neither police officers nor social workers” (para. 4); the APPA itself recommends pursuing such a balance...

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