Probation officers oversee previous inmates who have been released on terms of probation and ensure that offenders are fulfilling the terms of their probation without violations of any sort. They also work with prior offenders in order to help them to meet the conditions and goals of their probation. When violations or other problems are noted, they may need to make recommendations to the court as to what should be done. They may also carry out investigations, including monitoring personal information and social behavior.
Prior to any problems occurring, probation officers try to work with prior offenders to prevent detrimental activities from occurring, including referring them to community services and helpful activities. Probation officers work with probationers on a periodic basis, both in-person and over the phone. This may include home visits, as well as the probationer visiting the officer on occasion. Report-writing skills are important in this position, as probation officers must report the progress of the prior offender in a coherent and objective manner
A bachelor's degree in criminal justice, psychology, social work, sociology, or a related field is generally required for this position. On-the-job training is usually provided, including attending a probation academy, which generally lasts a few years. After attending the academy, an exam is administered in order to certify the probation officer. There are both part-time and full-time positions depending on the particular area of crime in which the officer may specialize.
Probation Officer or Correctional Treatment Specialist Tasks
Maintain case files on each offender and ensures that all documents are up to date.
Monitor adult offenders to enforce compliance with Court's conditions of supervision.
Conduct pretrial investigations to obtain and analyze defendant's criminal history.
Assist offenders in arranging interviews and obtaining jobs.