Probation Officers & Correctional Treatment Specialists
Also called: Correctional Counselor, Juvenile Probation Officer, Probation and Parole Officer, Probation Officer
Produced by CareerOneStop
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When a judge hands someone a sentence of time on probation, the individual often has major issues to sort out. Probation officers and correctional treatment specialists help people on probation get reestablished in a positive direction, and avoid further trouble. These officers and specialists work with individuals who are given probation instead of jail time, who are still in prison, or who have been released from prison. Work starts with meetings to form a rehabilitation plan. The plan might include any supports needed for the individual’s success, such as housing, substance abuse treatment, legal help, mental health counseling, or job training, as well as an agreement about regular check-ins. Documentation of meetings and activities is a significant part of the job. As a probation officer or correctional treatment specialist, you can expect to encounter visits to hostile environments, strict court-imposed deadlines, and the frustration of seeing some of your clients violate the terms of their release. State and local government facilities employ the majority of these workers, where on-call shifts may be required in addition to full-time work. Typically, a bachelor’s degree in a related field such as criminal justice or social work, is required. Extensive training on the job is provided. Candidates must pass competency tests, drug tests, and a criminal background check. In this field, you must be both strong and compassionate, to help your clients build a better future.
What they do:Provide social services to assist in rehabilitation of law offenders in custody or on probation or parole. Make recommendations for actions involving formulation of rehabilitation plan and treatment of offender, including conditional release and education and employment stipulations.
On the job, you would:
- Interview probationers and parolees regularly to evaluate their progress in accomplishing goals and maintaining the terms specified in their probation contracts and rehabilitation plans.
- Recommend remedial action or initiate court action in response to noncompliance with terms of probation or parole.
- Administer drug and alcohol tests, including random drug screens of offenders, to verify compliance with substance abuse treatment programs.
Math and Science
- sociology and anthropology
Safety and Government
- law and government
- public safety and security
Arts and Humanities
- English language
- customer service
- talking to others
- thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem
- noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
- understanding people's reactions
- changing what is done based on other people's actions
- communicate by speaking
- listen and understand what people say
Ideas and Logic
- notice when problems happen
- make general rules or come up with answers from lots of detailed information
People interested in this work like activities that include helping people, teaching, and talking.
They do well at jobs that need:
- Self Control
- Stress Tolerance
- Attention to Detail
You might use software like this on the job:
Electronic mail software
Office suite software
Data base user interface and query software