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Parole Officer Requirements

Rujuta Borkar
If you're interested in being a parole officer, you will have to know what some of the parole officer requirements are. Read to know more.
The reference to a parole officer is often heard in courtroom dramas or films and serials that deal with crime. Roughly, therefore, one knows that it has something to do with dealing with criminals. What one might not be aware of though is what it takes to be one.
Add to that the fact that there always seems to be a confusion between the duties of a probation officer and that of a parole officer. A probation officer will work with individuals who have been found guilty of a crime and have been sentenced to probation.
Whereas a parole officer works with those individuals who have been released from prison before the completion of their entire term in jail. The ways to deal with these two types of convicts is therefore different. In the following section, we will take you through the details of the duties of a parole officer and the requirements to be one.


► Parole officers are required to keep a track of all the offenders and then make a list of those who are eligible for release on parole.
► They will identify and select convicts according to their performance in jail - in obeying rules, doing the jobs well and their progress in therapy and rehabilitation programs.
► A parole officer has to make frequent visits to the parolees that are assigned to him, in order to make them aware of the things that are required of them.

► The parole officer is also required to interview parolees and give them information regarding housing, education, career choices, finances and any other information that might be required.
► Some parole officers also prepare reports for the parole board.

► In addition to that, they are responsible for finding jobs for the parolees and/or helping them in continuing their education.

► The job of parole officers can be rather dangerous at times because of their close contact with prisoners and convicts at all times.
► Some convicts who have not been able to perform the duties assigned to them satisfactorily and have gone back to their bad ways might hold a grudge against the parole officer and retaliate. Therefore, one of the major requirements of this job states that a parole officer be alert and prepared to face risks and danger.

Educational Requirements

If you are interested in a job such as this one, then you will need to know what the job requirements are in the education sphere. They are as follows.
To become a parole officer, one has to acquire a bachelor's degree in either psychology, sociology, forensics, offender rehabilitation, legal research, criminology or correctional science. This is necessary because a parole officer has to be in constant touch with offenders and often counsel them. He therefore needs to understand their psyche.
Along with this degree, he has to also have a minimum of one or two years job experience or field experience in social agencies or correctional facilities. Or one could opt for a master's degree in any of the earlier mentioned subjects as well.
He is required to pass exams of varied natures that deal with written, oral, physical and psychological tests. These will foray over subjects like an officer's knowledge of working with parolees, his psychological state of mind and the ability to handle trying situations with ease.
Similarly, the difficulty level of the physical exams will depend from one agency to the other. The officer is also required to clear a background check as well.
Once these requirements are fulfilled, applicants are required to contact the state, federal or county parole boards and according to their requirements, may have to take additional tests. These tests are usually administered to test writing and reading skills.
Along with these tests, many states also require the officers to undergo a training program consisting of seminars, fitness training and arms practice. These programs are administered by parole officers on duty. The parole officers have to undergo these programs periodically.
Now that you know what the parole officer requirements involve and how to become a parole officer, you should have no trouble in setting forth to achieve your goal. But make sure that you really want to do this because it is a job that has a lot of responsibilities and comes with its share of risks.