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:
Guard inmates in penal or rehabilitative institutions in accordance with established regulations and procedures. May guard prisoners in transit between jail, courtroom, prison, or other point. Includes deputy sheriffs and police who spend the majority of their time guarding prisoners in correctional institutions.
On the job, you would:
Conduct head counts to ensure that each prisoner is present.
Inspect conditions of locks, window bars, grills, doors, and gates at correctional facilities to ensure security and help prevent escapes.
Monitor conduct of prisoners in housing unit, or during work or recreational activities, according to established policies, regulations, and procedures, to prevent escape or violence.
Safety and Government
public safety and security
law and government
Arts and Humanities
Math and Science
talking to others
keeping track of how well people and/or groups are doing in order to make improvements
understanding people's reactions
changing what is done based on other people's actions
noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
communicate by speaking
listen and understand what people say
Hearing and Speech
recognize spoken words
Ideas and Logic
notice when problems happen
make general rules or come up with answers from lots of detailed information
pay attention to something without being distracted
People interested in this work like activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions.
They do well at jobs that need:
Attention to Detail
You might use software like this on the job:
Data base user interface and query software
3M Electronic Monitoring
Office suite software
high school diploma/GED usually needed
Examples of Registered Apprenticeship programs include:
New job opportunities are less likely in the future.