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How to Become A Probation Officer

Every society needs a sound criminal justice system in our society that helps counteract criminal activities, punish offenders, and maintain law. This system comprises of various agencies and professionals who perform specialized tasks. We all know that criminals are often caught and put behind bars by the police department, but what happens to these offenders once they are released? This is where probation officers come in. Probation officers are basically law enforcement officers who supervise individuals released from jail or sentenced to non-custodial sanctions. Not every crime carries a jail time. In some cases, individuals are often sent for community work. These individuals are guided and supervised by probation officers.





Requirements to become a Probation Officer

The requirements to become a probation officer may vary from state to state. However, in most states, you need to have a college education. You can start off by completing your high school education and then enrolling in a bachelor degree. Since the career demands knowledge and skill of the law enforcement sector, it is advised that you pursue criminal justice at college level. This academic field sheds light upon all elements of the criminal justice system. You can improve your legal terminology, develop skills in communication and report writing, and also learn about the process of trials, probation, and sentencing in the United States.

There will be a number of subjects that you must complete in the program, each carrying a defined number of credit hours. The credit hour requirements will depend upon which institute you enroll in.

Training Requirements to Become a Probation Officer

Training is mandatory for becoming a probation officer. With a college degree in hand, you can apply for admission in training program headed by the federal or state government. This program will offer specialized knowledge of probation and law enforcement. You will understand what to expect in the professional field. The duration of the training program may vary from state to state, according to the state training requirements. After the training is complete, you can start off as a trainee and work on a probationary period at a facility. This is a major part of the on-the-job training.

There are various fields in probation you can choose to work in. For example, some officers wish to work in the sector of substance abuse while others may prefer corrections. You must also be over the age of 21 and should have a clean criminal record to qualify for consideration as a probation officer.

Salary of a Probation Officer

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics has provided information regarding probation officer salary. These professionals made a median income of $47,200 per year in 2010. The job requires probation officers to conduct various tasks such as making treatment plans, offering rehabilitation courses, writing progress reports, monitoring progress and treatment of offenders, and conducting meetings. Since correctional treatment is gaining popularity and is becoming a highlighted subject in the law enforcement field, the demand for probation officers is likely to grow. There are also many opportunities of advancement in this career. Many probation officers move onto upper managerial and supervisory roles with more experience and credentials.

 

Questions / Answers

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Q:How to become a probation officer?

A:To become a probation officer, you need to have a bachelor degree at least. It is advised that you major in criminal justice, legal studies, or any relevant field. Once your education is complete, you can enroll in a training program and build skills needed for the job. There is also the option of specialization in certain fields such as substance-abuse, juvenile offenders, etc.

Q:How do i become a probation officer with only a high school diploma?

A:Unfortunately it is not possible to become a probation officer with just a high school education. You must attend college and earn at least a bachelor degree. Apart from this, you will also have to take formal training on-the job or enroll in a federally sponsored program. There are a certain number of training hours you must complete before being qualified for the job position.

Q:As I was reading about the probation system in United States of America, I came across the income of a probation officer. Can you tell me more about this?

A:According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, probation officers made an annual median income of $48,190 in 2012. The growth rate is steady for this law enforcement career. These professionals are trained to monitor and oversee offenders. Probation officers typically work in prisons, rehabilitation centers, correctional facilities, and other related federal agencies.

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