The workload/caseload debate is not new—it has plagued the field of probation and parole for decades.
In an effort to assist the field in presenting realistic arguments to policymakers and public officials in positions to allocate funds for community corrections, the American Probation and Parole Association (APPA) attempted to clarify the issue in 1991 by drafting an argument for workload standards as opposed to caseload standards. While community corrections professionals understand how each case may demand varying levels of attention and corresponding work hours, translating those hours back into “cases” for policymakers has been more problematic.
Based on needs expressed by probation and parole professionals who are required to supply information to policymakers for budget requests, APPA has once again tackled the issue of caseload standards. APPA's issue paper on caseload standards is a work in progress that seeks to provide direction to the field in calculating the number of cases that can be supervised by each probation/parole officer based on the type of case and level of supervision.
In addition, a more comprehensive review of tasks associated with effective supervision is being developed.