The quality of probation officer-client therapeutic alliance (TA) can result in improvements in supervision success including reduced rearrest and non-compliance. However, less is known about how clients' perceptions of procedural justice during interactions with their probation officer (PO) influence the quality of the PO-client TA and impact supervision outcomes. While extant research supports the importance of procedural justice for shaping citizen's legitimacy beliefs and compliance to the law within policing, we know little about how and whether these concepts influence the PO-client TA in community supervision and whether they impact compliance. Using self-reported survey data collected from a sample of adult individuals on county-level probation (N = 172), this study examined the influence of client perceptions of procedural justice, legitimacy, and legal cynicism in predicting the PO-client TA. Multivariate regression analyses examined the collective effect of these interpersonal relationship factors on clients' odds of receiving a technical violation and receiving a positive drug test. Results indicated that clients' perceptions of procedural justice were positively associated with the PO-client TA. Clients who viewed their PO treated them fairly and with respect were more likely to report a higher quality relationship. However, perceptions of procedural justice, legitimacy, and the TA were unrelated to compliance outcome. Risk level was the strongest predictor for receiving a technical violating and positive drug test. These findings suggest that while procedural justice was associated with a stronger TA, procedural justice alone may be insufficient to elicit supervision compliance. This study suggests the need to expand future research to consider procedural justice in the context of other supervision outcomes, including client satisfaction. Though the current study found procedural justice did not impact technical violations and positive drug tests, it may improve clients' satisfaction of the supervision process, which could result in greater client success and improved outcomes

Graduation Date





Viglione, Jill


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


College of Community Innovation and Education


Criminal Justice

Degree Program

Criminal Justice


CFE0009142; DP0026738





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Length of Campus-only Access


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Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)