Probation Officers & Correctional Treatment Specialists
Also called: Correctional Counselor, Juvenile Probation Officer, Parole Officer (PO), 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:
- Prepare and maintain case folder for each assigned inmate or offender.
- Gather information about offenders' backgrounds by talking to offenders, their families and friends, and other people who have relevant information.
- Interview probationers and parolees regularly to evaluate their progress in accomplishing goals and maintaining the terms specified in their probation contracts and rehabilitation plans.
Safety and Government
- law and government
- public safety and security
Arts and Humanities
- English language
Math and Science
- sociology and anthropology
- therapy and counseling
- listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
- talking to others
- noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
- understanding people's reactions
- bringing people together to solve differences
- communicate by speaking
- read and understand what is written
Ideas and Logic
- notice when problems happen
- use rules to solve problems
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
- Concern for Others
You might use software like this on the job:
Electronic mail software
Office suite software