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Parole Officer Job Description, Career as a Parole Officer, Salary, Employment - Definition and Nature of the Work, Education and Training Requirements, Getting the Job

officers parolees prisoners jobs

Education and Training College plus training

Salary Median—$39,600 per year

Employment Outlook Good

Definition and Nature of the Work

Parole officers identify and supervise offenders who are eligible for conditional release from prison before they have completed their sentences. To merit parole, prisoners must obey prison rules, perform prison jobs well, and show progress in rehabilitation and therapy programs.

Some parole officers work inside correctional institutions, preparing reports for parole boards. They assess prisoners' lives before and during incarceration; how prisoners' families will affect their rehabilitation; and what job prospects prisoners might have if released. Based on the officers' reports and interviews with the prisoners and their families, the boards choose certain prisoners for release.

Field officers work with parolees once they have returned to their communities. They help parolees find jobs, schools, or therapy programs. For instance, former drug addicts may have to enroll in programs that help them stay off drugs. If parolees have financial problems, officers direct them to community agencies that can provide welfare benefits and other financial support. Some officers supervise halfway houses in which small groups of parolees live together to share experiences and lend each other support. Drug therapists, psychiatrists, and social workers often help with this supervision.

Parole officers visit their clients regularly to evaluate their progress. If parolees break the rules—by violating the law, for example, or by associating with bad company—officers may recommend that parole be revoked. Parole boards may send the parolees back to prison.

Most parole officers work for state parole departments; some are employed by counties or the U.S. Board of Parole. They may be assisted by parole aides or parole officer trainees.

Education and Training Requirements

Bachelor's degrees in sociology, psychology, criminology, or correctional science are preferred. In addition, many agencies, including the U.S. Board of Parole, require one or two years of work experience in correctional institutions or other social agencies or master's degrees in sociology or psychology.

Applicants must take written, oral, psychological, and physical examinations. In most states, parole officers must pass training programs and certification tests.

Getting the Job

Job seekers can contact federal, state, or county parole boards directly. They should take federal or state civil service tests, if necessary. Those who do fieldwork for college courses in social work may make contacts who can help them find jobs after graduation. College placement offices may have employment listings.

Advancement Possibilities and Employment Outlook

Qualified parole officers may advance to work as administrators, department heads, and directors of special projects or units.

Employment of parole officers is expected to grow as fast as the average for all jobs through 2014. Mandatory sentencing guidelines, which called for longer prison terms and fewer opportunities for parole, are being reconsidered in many states because of budgetary constraints and court decisions. If additional prisoners gain early release, more parole officers may be needed to supervise them. Jobs for parole officers should also open up as experienced workers retire or leave the field.

Working Conditions

Parole officers work independently, advising and evaluating parolees and finding jobs for them. The work can be stressful, for they are under pressure at all times to present parole and parolees positively to their communities. Caseloads may be heavy. Officers often work more than forty hours per week, sometimes making night or weekend appointments with parolees who work.

Earnings and Benefits

Earnings vary, depending on location and experience. In 2004 the median salary for all parole officers was $39,600 per year. The lowest ten percent earned less than $26,310 per year, and the highest ten percent earned more than $66,660 per year. Supervisors and directors often earned much more.

Where to Go for More Information

American Correctional Association
206 N. Washington St., Ste. 200
Alexandria, VA 22314
(800) 222-5646
http://www.aca.org

American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees
1625 L St. NW
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 429-1000
http://www.afscme.org

American Probation and Parole Association
2760 Research Park Dr.
Lexington, KY 40511-8410
(859) 244-8203
http://www.appa-net.org

National Council on Crime and Delinquency
1970 Broadway, Ste. 500
Oakland, CA 94612
(510) 208-0500
http://www.nccd-crc.org

Most parole officers receive paid holidays and vacations, health insurance, and pension plans.

Parole Officer Job Description, Career as a Parole Officer, Salary, Employment - Definition and Nature of the Work, Education and Training Requirements, Getting the Job [next] [back] Paralegal Aide Job Description, Career as a Paralegal Aide, Salary, Employment - Definition and Nature of the Work, Education and Training Requirements, Getting the Job

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about 9 years ago

I am very tired of being harrassed by not only my own parole officer but all of them. i have been on parole for 8 1/2 months and have not done anything wrong but yet they seem like its thier duty to constantly harras me. they aree there to help us back into society but why do they push us back towards jail. this state really needs to rethink the parole division cause they need help and they need it BAD

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over 5 years ago

I dont get why people are posting their opinions on here.its a job description people no one cares!

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over 6 years ago

Can you be a P.O Officer with out going to College??

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over 7 years ago

What can be done about a BAD Parole Officer that is harrassing someone on Parole that is following the Rules? What can be done?

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about 8 years ago

Its not the PO's job to babysit. They are mearly the middle man between the parolee and their community. If you notice the parolee breaking the law, call the PO and if they cant do anything due to the many rules and laws that are forced upon them, then call the cops. Thats what they are there for. As far as the comment from the woman regarding her children without a father due to his parole violation and reencarceration ... That is not the PO's fault. That is merely the man himself that did it. He deserves his reencarceration. Your children are better off without their father than having a father with the life style in which he had. I believer that someimes going without is better than living with some. My father is not in my life anymore due to being encarserated and then reencarceration due to parole violations. He has too many issues of his own and cant not properly be a good role model or influence in my life. I had to let him go. Its the best for your kids. Maybe if he is taken away from them he can reflect on his own problems. He cant possibly take care of them properly if he cant even seem to take care of himself. Allow the justice system to reevaluate him. He needs help but society might not be the best for him right now. He obviously need more time behind bars to reflect on his own life. Its called a correctional facility because they try to give the prisoner the chance to correct their current life style. Like I said, its his own fault he is where he is at. He will never be rehabilitated if you give him excuses. He needs to be able to blame himself and learn to work throught it and deal with things. You are making his issues worse by not allowing him to take responsibility for his own actions. Sounds to me like you need to grow up just as much as he does. Blame the real offender. Place the blame where the blame is due. Repsect the PO and work with him/her. They are going to spend more time and energy on those ex cons and their families whom give the impression that they are ready for change, growth, and success.

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about 6 years ago

what if a person calls a probation officer and askes for a parolees personal information? What is the parole officer to do? What if the person keeps calling and asking for this information what is the officer to do?

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over 5 years ago

I wanna be a parol officer. I think they do great things and you guys need to quit complaining and be happy! You guys are dumbasses

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over 7 years ago

I am currently in college as a criminology student and hope to be a Parole Officer in the next couple of years. My current husband has had his times with being in trouble and I have seen both good and bad POs. I hope to be able to help those who get into trouble, when they get out of prison. Maybe, with a little understanding and a little faith, I will be able to help those who get out, stay out. I hate to see wives and husband apart and especially, children without their parents. I think this will be a rewarding career and I am really excited about it.

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about 9 years ago

I am trying to develop a class to be included in the trining of PO's in NY. It is intended to give the recruits and additional perspective, that of the families, on the importance of parole officers in assuring parole success. Any ideas are welcome.



Thanks,

Amy

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over 8 years ago

Okay! Now I have |NO| idea about Parole Officers and/or how they work. As I have read there is ALOT of criticism from people about a Parole Officer....Im just finding out information here and there for my Sophmore Board and I believe from my research there are a FEW p.o's that take advantage of their jobs and |LACK| supervision. But just because a few of them do does not mean all of them do! I think parole officers are a good help to society. Especially a good help to newly released prisoners. Parole officers are only here to keep newly released prisoners from committing new crimes or the same crimes. They do as much as possible. And for the FEW that dont then those need to be REPORTED. But please respect the ones that do their job!

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over 9 years ago

I AM VERY DISGUSTED AND ANGRY ABOUT THE WAY MY HUSBANDS PO HAS HANDLED HIS CASE. HE STARTED USING HEROIN,WHICH IN TURN MADE HIM START STEALING FROM FAMILY AND FRIENDS,I MYSELF CONTACTED THIS LADY NUMEROUS TIMES ALONG WITH MY FATHER AND SHE SAID SHE COULDN'T DO ANYTHING FOR HIM. SHE STATED THAT SHE IS NOT A P.I. AND SHE IS NOT A BABYSITTER. THAT HES AN ADULT AND HAS TO ACTED LIKE ONE. I BEGGED HER TO REMAND HIM INTO AN INHOUSE TREATMENT CENTER. I ASKED HER TO LOOK AT HIS ARMS FOR PROOF. SHE DID NOTHING. SHE PUT HIM EVENTUALLY TO A OUTPATIENT TREATMENT 3 TIMES A WEEK WHICH HE ENDEDUP GETTING KICKED OUT OF. THEN ANOTHER AND HE HARDLY SHOWED UP FOR MEETINGS AND STILL NOTHING. NOW HE IS SETTING IN WV NORTHERN REGIONAL JAIL FOR PROBATION VIOLATION AND MY SON AND DAUGHTER ARE WITHOUT THEIR FATHER. HER BOSS WAS CONTACTED AND HE SAID SHE DONE HER JOB. WHAT A LAUGH THIS SYSTEM IS. BUT WE STILL HAVER MURDERS AND PEDIFILES BEING TREATED LIKE KINGS OUT HERE.

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over 5 years ago

my son has a parole officer that radid my home he was told where my son sleep and looked around, but he wonted to come into my bedroon where there is nuttin in my roon that is my son but the officer came in my roon and started asking me about what you do ing in here i told him working what is it that you do i told him it was all my business in my room and my son did not come in my room but agent said that because my bed room door. did not have a lock on it my son can come in but he does not do that. the parole office is fowl and he trys to do underhanded things to my son but i let them know i have you on web cam know he has a problem with me because i wonted to record this man going though my things and he got man pulled my son out the apt. walked down in front of my god sons apt. told him :did you know he is a registered sex offender. it was none of my god sons business, my son has a right to some privacy under magens law you cant even find my son on megens law if you dont have his name..when the parole officer came to my door at my room and cared more about what was in my own room every thing in here is mine but he wonted to go thought my things not my son the agent told my son i dont have a problem with you its with your mother it seems she has something to hide but i dont every thing in my room is mine stuff ha nothing to do with my son but he wonted to go though my room any way he was wrong i put him on tape told him he was and he had a problem with your mom not you she is hiding something and it makes me being the parole officer i am not here to make him any thing he has to worry about what my son doing not me. i need help with this agent if any body can help me e mail me back and we both can help each other just e mail me..

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over 7 years ago

I think there are some good, and bad parole officers out there. It all depeneds on who you get, there not all horrible people and some do really care. So lets not hate on ALL of them, but i do understand the whole thing with the father going to jail after the family was trying to get the PO to help before it was to late, she should have helped. And maybe he'd of got the help he needed from people who really could try there best to fix him and he'd be there for his kids still...

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over 6 years ago

Do mean a man goes to jail one time he has no rights? There is some man or woman made one mistake and the P.O. officer has the right to put a label on these people. I don't think so. I think some P.O.officer should back to school. People like Mel should not put a label on anybody until you get to know the that preson first.

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about 10 years ago

who can we see about a bad po, someone who is useing his power of the law to hurt people and harrass the family of the parolly, someone who intimidates the family,friends and the person on paroll.

A po that laughs and said there's nothing we can do about him because he has the final word.

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over 5 years ago

parol officers are people who have to follow a protocal...they can continue being people or become robots ....in meny aspects once you become a criminal thats what you will be treated as that "person" (family member) is now a name and number and must go above and beyond the normal thinking process of daily problems.Welcome to the Matrix.....

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over 5 years ago

i think people should stop complaining because i think the opposite because im thinking of going to school to become a parole officer but lets make it clear im not gonna violate the rights of parolees im going to be one of the paroles that will help inmates to become better in life and make them change regarding theirn future.....

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almost 8 years ago

i do agree that it is not the p.o job to babysit,how ever they are suppost to help the parole with drug treatments or jobs.these days its inpossible to be able to afford any drug rehabs specially for ex offenders,so what are they suppost to do.and its true most of the time the p.o doesnt care about any one but there pay check.its not as easy to quit drugs once there releast.and it is there job to try to help them any way possible its not like there paying for there treatments themselfs so why not give them all the reasorces.

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about 9 years ago

my brother got a DUI over 2 months ago. i love his Parole officer, and they are not as bad as everyone has put them to be. so give them a chance, because i am going to Law School to major one.

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over 7 years ago

what do you think a day in this life of this profession might entail???

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over 5 years ago

parol officers are people who have to follow a protocal...they can continue being people or become robots ....in meny aspects once you become a criminal thats what you will be treated as that "person" (family member) is now a name and number and must go above and beyond the normal thinking process of daily problems.Welcome to the Matrix.....

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over 5 years ago

parol officers are people who have to follow a protocal...they can continue being people or become robots ....in meny aspects once you become a criminal thats what you will be treated as that "person" (family member) is now a name and number and must go above and beyond the normal thinking process of daily problems.Welcome to the Matrix.....

Vote down Vote up

over 5 years ago

parol officers are people who have to follow a protocal...they can continue being people or become robots ....in meny aspects once you become a criminal thats what you will be treated as that "person" (family member) is now a name and number and must go above and beyond the normal thinking process of daily problems.Welcome to the Matrix.....

Vote down Vote up

over 5 years ago

parol officers are people who have to follow a protocal...they can continue being people or become robots ....in meny aspects once you become a criminal thats what you will be treated as that "person" (family member) is now a name and number and must go above and beyond the normal thinking process of daily problems.Welcome to the Matrix.....

Vote down Vote up

over 5 years ago

parol officers are people who have to follow a protocal...they can continue being people or become robots ....in meny aspects once you become a criminal thats what you will be treated as that "person" (family member) is now a name and number and must go above and beyond the normal thinking process of daily problems.Welcome to the Matrix.....

Vote down Vote up

over 5 years ago

parol officers are people who have to follow a protocal...they can continue being people or become robots ....in meny aspects once you become a criminal thats what you will be treated as that "person" (family member) is now a name and number and must go above and beyond the normal thinking process of daily problems.Welcome to the Matrix.....

Vote down Vote up

over 5 years ago

parol officers are people who have to follow a protocal...they can continue being people or become robots ....in meny aspects once you become a criminal thats what you will be treated as that "person" (family member) is now a name and number and must go above and beyond the normal thinking process of daily problems.Welcome to the Matrix.....

Vote down Vote up

over 5 years ago

parol officers are people who have to follow a protocal...they can continue being people or become robots ....in meny aspects once you become a criminal thats what you will be treated as that "person" (family member) is now a name and number and must go above and beyond the normal thinking process of daily problems.Welcome to the Matrix.....

Vote down Vote up

over 5 years ago

parol officers are people who have to follow a protocal...they can continue being people or become robots ....in meny aspects once you become a criminal thats what you will be treated as that "person" (family member) is now a name and number and must go above and beyond the normal thinking process of daily problems.Welcome to the Matrix.....

Vote down Vote up

over 5 years ago

parol officers are people who have to follow a protocal...they can continue being people or become robots ....in meny aspects once you become a criminal thats what you will be treated as that "person" (family member) is now a name and number and must go above and beyond the normal thinking process of daily problems.Welcome to the Matrix.....

Vote down Vote up

over 5 years ago

parol officers are people who have to follow a protocal...they can continue being people or become robots ....in meny aspects once you become a criminal thats what you will be treated as that "person" (family member) is now a name and number and must go above and beyond the normal thinking process of daily problems.Welcome to the Matrix.....

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over 5 years ago

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over 2 years ago

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