Scoring and Interpreting the RCC
The Revised Community Corrections Officer Orientation Scale is a 24-item, self-report, semantic differential scale. It is intended for use with probation and parole officers in understanding how they emphasize the demands of their role. It was revised from Dembo’s (1972) orientation measure. Its development is described in more detail by Ricks and Eno Louden (2015).
The displayed values range from “-3” to “+3” using “0” as the midpoint. This allows for an intuitive interpretation of the differences in how participant respond to the items, but it is important to change the scale after the data have been collected. Values should be recoded as follows:
Response Score as
This translated scoring method allows for a scale score to be computed by simply summing all items (i.e., no item is reverse-scored).
After re-coding the responses as indicated above and adding all scores together, the lowest possible scale score is 24 (24 x 1), and the highest possible score is 168 (24 x 7). Low scores indicate that the respondent approached his or her work as a law enforcer—oriented toward a supervision style that emphasizes authority, less concerned with rehabilitation and more concerned with ensuring that the offenders on his or her caseload are complying with supervision rules. High scores indicate that the respondent approaches his or her work with an attitude similar to a social worker—using guidance and support aimed primarily toward rehabilitation, and more flexible with rules. Scores that are nearest the midpoint reflect a synthesis of the other two approaches—these officers are “firm but fair” in that they use a balance of supervision rules and support to work with offenders on their caseloads (see Dembo, 1972; Glaser, 1969; Klockars, 1972; Paparozzi & Gendreau, 2005; Ricks & Eno Louden, 2015; Skeem & Manchak, 2008).
Determining cutoff scores for these three types in the past (Gillig, Manchak, Eno Louden, Vidal, & Skeem, 2009; Ricks & Eno Louden, 2015) was completed by categorizing all officers whose scale scores were within 1 standard deviation of the mean as synthetic, those whose scores fell more than 1 standard deviation below the mean as law enforcers, and those whose scores fell more than 1 standard deviation above the mean as social workers. However, we emphasize that we do not have established norms for the scale, so it is not yet known how well this cutoff criterion works in practice. Depending upon your research question and design, you may wish to use the scale as continuous, or use another method of trichotomization.
Dembo, R. (1972). Orientation and activities of the parole officer. Criminology, 193-215. doi: 10.1111/j.1745-9125.1972.tb00554.x
Gillig, B., Manchak, S., Eno Louden, J., Vidal, S., & Skeem, J. (2009, March). Effects of probation officer attitudes on probationer recidivism. Paper presented at the annual conference of the American Psychology and Law Society, San Antonio, TX.
Glaser, D. (1969). Effectiveness of a prison and parole system. Lexington, MA: Lexington Books.
Klockars, C. B., Jr. (1972). A theory of probation supervision. The Journal of Criminal Law, Criminology, and Police Science, 63, 550-557. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org
Paparozzi, M. A., & Gendreau, P. (2005). An intensive supervision program that worked: Service delivery, professional orientation, and organizational supportiveness. The Prison Journal, 85, 445-466. doi:10.1177/0032885505281529
Ricks, E. P., & Eno Louden, J. (2015). The relationship between officer orientation and supervision strategies in community corrections. Law and Human Behavior, 39(2). 130-141. doi:10.1037/lhb0000098
Skeem, J. L., & Manchak, S. (2008). Back to the future: From Klockars’ model of effective supervision to evidence-based practice in probation. Journal of Offender Rehabilitation, 47, 220-247. doi:10.1080/10509670802134069