Probation Officer Requirements
If you've ever wanted to know how to become a probation officer, keep reading find a job description, probation officer job requirements, online education and training, and general salary information for this popular career.
Probation Officer Job Description
Probation officers and parole officers are often lumped together when people think about them. They do have some common duties, such as working within the corrections system and being employed by county, state or federal corrections departments. Sometimes they even take on dual responsibilities, functioning as both probation and parole officers. Probation officers perform many duties specific to probation and deal with offenders who have been convicted of a crime but not sent to jail.
Probation officers work with offenders who have been sentenced to probation and will therefore not go to prison for their offense. Probation officers conduct pre-sentence investigations and write reports on convicted criminals to help the courts decide on sentencing and what level of probation the offender will receive. These presentence investigation reports (PSIs) also include recommendations regarding the likelihood of rehabilitation and recidivism (the chance that an offender will re-commit his or her crime).
Probation officers evaluate their clients by conducting interviews with family members, employers and counselors, and use drug testing and GPS monitoring. Probation officers handle anywhere from 15 to over 100 cases, depending on their district or territory. The workload can be very heavy and is often dictated by the level of offender the officer is dealing with. Probation officers will generally work with either juvenile or adult offenders.
In certain states, probation officers carry the dual title of probation and parole officer. The probation officer job description does not change, but the officer will also conduct the duties of a parole officer.
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