Criminal Justice School Info

Probation Officer Training

If you are wondering about probation officer training and what it takes to become a probation officer, you will want to look into your states requirements and find out if certification is required. Parole and probation officers primary function is to monitor the activities of those released on probation and assist with reacclimation into a productive role in society for a period of time where there are strict guidelines in place with consequences for any illegal activities or signs of relapse into criminal activities.


How to Become a Probation Officer

Probation BadgeIf you are thinking of becoming a probation officer, you will need to meet certain education requirements; start by obtaining a criminal justice degree. There are some schools that offer a corrections specialization within their criminal justice program which is another smart choice for probation officer education. For those interested in working with youth, there are online programs specifically for juvenile probation officers.

Another option is to get a degree in a closely related field such as, psychology, social work, or a law enforcement degree. It should also be noted that federal parole officers and probation officers need at least two years experience.

With more experience, you may also qualify for supervisory positions, which will pay much higher. It is important that you have a clean record with no felony convictions and that you are able to pass a drug test and general background check. Some states require that you become certified by passing a test to ensure that you have an acceptable level of knowledge.

What's the difference between a parole officer and a probation officer?

In a nutshell, when someone is said to be on parole, they are being monitored after having carried out their sentence in prison.  If someone is on probation, this means that they were placed on probation in lieu of a prison sentence.  Many states and employers allow individuals who have been trained as probation officers to also act as parole officers; however, this is not always the case, so it is important to determine what your state's requirements are.

A probation officer is there to assist with problems that could cause individuals to repeat negative patterns and end up back in front of a judge with a new crime.  They assist with issues such as substance abuse, anger management, and the prevention of repetition of bad behavioral patterns leading to crime. 

A parole officer, in addition to the same duties performed by a probation officer, also must assist the offender with reentering society, which can be difficult after having been in prison for several years.   A parole officer must also be sure that the offender does not break the terms of their parole or they will end  up back in prison. 

Both types of officers usually work for the government and can work at both the state and federal levels.  Both parole and probation officers work with multiple offenders and must have bachelors degree in criminal justice or a similar program.

Probation Officer Jobs:

The following are a sample of the various types of probation officer roles available:



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