Law Enforcement Specialties >> Corrections, Probation & Parole >> Becoming Probation Officer

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Becoming Probation Officer

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Posted over 5 years ago

 

I am graduating from Univ of Phoenix in Sept with BS in Criminal Justice.  I would really like to become Probation Officer.  The problem is in my county, they hire people with experience only.  How does someone get experience?  I don't want to be correctional officer!  I am also considering continuing on school for Masters.   Where do I look for Probation Officer positions or experience or training?

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Rate This | Posted over 5 years ago

 

My question would be, what kind of experience is your county looking for?  Our county also likes experience but not necessarily probation/parole experience.   Many of our hires have been folks in school who put in hours at our department as interns, prior police and/or military police, prior corrections or reserve law enforcement or some type of experience in managing/supervising people like juvenile detention etc.  If you continue in school, you could rack up "experience" in many different ways.  Good luck!!


"That which does not kill me.....sure as hell better run faster than me"

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Rate This | Posted over 5 years ago

 

Alot of departments will hire "temp" POs to fill caseloads that are in limbo due to hiring, extended leave, etc. Usually the temps just complete the clerical and office aspect of the job (no arrests or field work). It gives departments the ability to train prospective POs and it's easier to get rid of them if they don't work out. 

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Rate This | Posted about 5 years ago

 

You may also want to see about internships or volunteering with a department.  The department I work for in VA offers both options.  Although not paid, it's a good way to get an insight into the job and make contacts for future employment.

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Rate This | Posted over 4 years ago

 

It will be a big mistake. I am one now after 17-years in "real law enforcement" and it is not what I was lead it to be! It may be different in other states, but here it is very, very unlike working for a law enforcement agency.

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Rate This | Posted over 4 years ago

 

Boxeador says ...



It will be a big mistake. I am one now after 17-years in "real law enforcement" and it is not what I was lead it to be! It may be different in other states, but here it is very, very unlike working for a law enforcement agency.



Can you expand on that?  What did you think it would be like? And how's it different?


I'm currently a probation officer.  It's definitely not glamorous and I would NEVER compare it to..say, a cop's job.  But it can get pretty...intense.  Of course, that could just be my caseload.

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Rate This | Posted over 4 years ago

 

Internships are great opportunities to get some experience.  Don't let not having any actual law enforcement experience slow you down.  You can use any work experience you may have to your benefit you just need to know how to word it in a resume.

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Rate This | Posted over 4 years ago

 

To compare this job to that of a street cop is like comparing apples and oranges.  In my state they are working to expand our authority for arrests so that when we are working on task forces with local LE we will have arrest authority.  My day to day job can sometimes be boring but is always rewarding and can sometime be exciting.  I arrest on average of two offenders a month and sometimes the arrests are tied into criminal investigations and sometimes their just boring old violations.  When I really like my job is whn I am driving down the road and see my buddy the patrol officer coming on duty to do his shift on a weekend or dealing with some old lady because her old man pissed her off.  In many cases the power of PO is much in demand of the patrol officer or detective.  We have the ability to forge partnerships with these people that can lead to great opportunities for us.  I have a blast almost everytime I go to work.

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Rate This | Posted about 4 years ago

 

sdk0731 says ...



I am graduating from Univ of Phoenix in Sept with BS in Criminal Justice.  I would really like to become Probation Officer.  The problem is in my county, they hire people with experience only.  How does someone get experience?  I don't want to be correctional officer!  I am also considering continuing on school for Masters.   Where do I look for Probation Officer positions or experience or training?



Probably long past being pertinent to this post, but as a current probation offiicer and former parole and correctional officer I think it should be mandatory that community supervision officers (probation or parole) have prior institutional experience in either a prison, jail, or youth facility settiing. Commmunity supervision is an off-shoot of corrrections, and all three (corrections, probation, and parole) are related disciplines. Further,a smoothly functioning correctional system is comprised of pre-incarceration (probation), incarceration (institutional), and post-incarceration (parole) components - all of which should be cooperating with one another to promote public safety.You cannot truly appreciate the history or probation or parole without that institutional experience. And you can't truly understand the responsibility you hold as a community supervision officer if you don't understand the consequences of your recommendations or understand the realitiies of an instiitutional setting. In other words, if you're going to work in a profession in which a person's freedom rests in your hands then you need to fully appreciate what your recomendation of "revoke" truly encompasses. Likewise, you need to understand how offender, particulary repeat or predatory offenders, view the world. You have to understannd their thinking errors, and you have to understand the games they play. If you don't understand them, they can make your first few years as a CSO truly miserable. You will never gain this knowledge without having worked in an institutional setting. I recommend a minimum of one year of experience in an institutional setting.

Andrea_and_i_max50

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Rate This | Posted about 4 years ago

 

Here is what I can give you for advice: First and foremost, find out how the hiring process works. I am sure that there is a state test that you take and if you pass, then they will rank you according to your test results, education and experience. Then you typically select the areas in which you are willing to take employment. I would recommend statewide as much as possible. Then prepare yourself for interviews. Make sure you know how the position operates. As for the Masters degree, it is a good sound plan, but may not be recommended for applying to an entry level position as a probation officer. With budget crunches, often Masters degree holders are great options to have as employees, but budgets do not allow for the additional pay that often comes with a Masters. Best of luck to you in your search.

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Rate This | Posted almost 4 years ago

 

OgreCSO says ...



sdk0731 says ...



I am graduating from Univ of Phoenix in Sept with BS in Criminal Justice.  I would really like to become Probation Officer.  The problem is in my county, they hire people with experience only.  How does someone get experience?  I don't want to be correctional officer!  I am also considering continuing on school for Masters.   Where do I look for Probation Officer positions or experience or training?



Probably long past being pertinent to this post, but as a current probation offiicer and former parole and correctional officer I think it should be mandatory that community supervision officers (probation or parole) have prior institutional experience in either a prison, jail, or youth facility settiing. Commmunity supervision is an off-shoot of corrrections, and all three (corrections, probation, and parole) are related disciplines. Further,a smoothly functioning correctional system is comprised of pre-incarceration (probation), incarceration (institutional), and post-incarceration (parole) components - all of which should be cooperating with one another to promote public safety.You cannot truly appreciate the history or probation or parole without that institutional experience. And you can't truly understand the responsibility you hold as a community supervision officer if you don't understand the consequences of your recommendations or understand the realitiies of an instiitutional setting. In other words, if you're going to work in a profession in which a person's freedom rests in your hands then you need to fully appreciate what your recomendation of "revoke" truly encompasses. Likewise, you need to understand how offender, particulary repeat or predatory offenders, view the world. You have to understannd their thinking errors, and you have to understand the games they play. If you don't understand them, they can make your first few years as a CSO truly miserable. You will never gain this knowledge without having worked in an institutional setting. I recommend a minimum of one year of experience in an institutional setting.



Oh, we don't take revocation recommendations lightly.  And many times, when I think I should recommend revocation (for valid reasons), my supervisor still changes it to say....SAFPF or other secure, residential treatment options.


My experience?  My first years were pretty miserable.  But not because I didn't "understand" the thinking--I recognize the differences in my defendants.  However, most of my difficulties were from having such a large caseload, without having time to review files and make sure things were up to date on the administrative part.  It's VERY difficult to go straight to seeing defendants and having it being expected of you to fix everything within a day and having it perfect, even though the caseload has been a mess for 2+ years.  Now, I have a difference caseload and it's MUCH more manageable; however, I still have to schedule the time to slowly go through files and fix mistakes.  I'm still finding issues that need to be addressed.

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Rate This | Posted almost 4 years ago

 

I agree with OgreCSO, you have to have previous experience in a prison enviorement, to feel if the job is for you, I hope the reason that you do not want to be a CO is because you do not want to deal with the inmates because you will deal with paroles that are out on the street with access to guns and if you are afraid to a pearson being mean to you I really encourge to apply first for a CO, for example my case I always said that I will never became a CO or a Probation officer and one time I have an instructor who teach me what a CO and probation officer does and I loved, now after a year in the department as a CO I working my way to take a test to became a Parole Officer and let me tell you I already have a Bachelor in Busisness and I am fininshing another one in Criminal justice in the same university like you and I still star from the bottom and I will not regret it. just my advice