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How to Become a Probation Officer

When you work as a probation officer, you play an important role in the criminal justice system. It is your job to make sure that an individual is meeting all of the requirements of his or her parol sentence. You also need to make sure that a person is staying out of trouble and not doing anything that violates a parol sentence. In some instances, you may need to check to make sure that a person is not doing drugs or alcohol. You may work with individuals who have received a DUI or have been convicted of a drug crime. You may need to visit the homes of people who have been given a parol sentence. It will be your task to make sure that the person is following all of the requirements of the house arrest. Maybe you have wondered, "How do I become a probation officer?" When you want to become a probation officer, it is important for you to have a background in criminal justice and have a passion for maintaining the integrity of the criminal justice system.

What's it like to be a probation officer?

When you work as a probation officer, you typically work at a jail center or travel on your own time. You may also work for a juvenile detention center. As the probation officer, you play an intermediary role between the court system and the convicted individual. The judge may want to speak with you to see that a person is upholding his or her duty to stay out of trouble and lead a drug-free life. You may also need to administer drug tests at a person's place of employment to make sure that he or she is not doing drugs or consuming alcohol. You may receive a phone call that a person has violated a probation sentence. It will then be your task to report this violation to the judge. The judge will then need to consider punishments for the individual who has violated the probation requirements.

Education Requirements

To become a probation officer, you should complete a training program that is offered at a local community college. The typical program only takes about two years to complete. You may be able to complete a program that is sponsored by the state or federal government. These types of programs will help you save money. These programs are usually much more cost-effective than programs that are offered at community colleges. Instead of paying for your credit hours, allow the government to sponsor your future career. You should also try to take courses that give you a basic understanding of the criminal justice system. These types of courses will help you analyze how the criminal justice system functions and will help you figure out how to improve its role in society.

Salary & How to Get a Job

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the starting salary for a probation officer is about $47,000 a year. You can earn a higher salary if you are promoted to a position as a supervising probation officer. It is important for you to apply for jobs at jail centers and in the court system if you want to become a probation officer. You may also want to apply for a position as a probation officer that focuses on working with individuals who have been convicted of certain crimes.


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