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Probation Officers and Correctional Treatment Specialists
SOC Code: 21-1092.00

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.

Sample of reported job titles: Adult Probation Officer, Correctional Counselor, Deputy Juvenile Officer, Deputy Probation Officer (DPO), Juvenile Probation Officer, Parole Agent, Parole Officer, Probation and Parole Officer, Probation Counselor, Probation Officer

Tasks

  • 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.
  • Prepare and maintain case folder for each assigned inmate or offender.
  • Discuss with offenders how such issues as drug and alcohol abuse and anger management problems might have played roles in their criminal behavior.
  • Conduct prehearing and presentencing investigations and testify in court regarding offenders' backgrounds and recommended sentences and sentencing conditions.
  • Inform offenders or inmates of requirements of conditional release, such as office visits, restitution payments, or educational and employment stipulations.
  • Write reports describing offenders' progress.
  • Arrange for medical, mental health, or substance abuse treatment services according to individual needs or court orders.
  • Supervise people on community-based sentences, such as electronically monitored home detention, and provide field supervision of probationers by conducting curfew checks or visits to home, work, or school.
  • Develop liaisons and networks with other parole officers, community agencies, correctional institutions, psychiatric facilities, and aftercare agencies to plan for helping offenders with life adjustments.
  • Arrange for postrelease services, such as employment, housing, counseling, education, and social activities.
  • Gather information about offenders' backgrounds by talking to offenders, their families and friends, and other people who have relevant information.
  • Develop rehabilitation programs for assigned offenders or inmates, establishing rules of conduct, goals, and objectives.
  • Develop and prepare packets containing information about social service agencies, assistance organizations, and programs that might be useful for inmates or offenders.
  • Provide offenders or inmates with assistance in matters concerning detainers, sentences in other jurisdictions, writs, and applications for social assistance.
  • Investigate alleged parole violations, using interviews, surveillance, and search and seizure.
  • Recommend appropriate penitentiary for initial placement of an offender.
  • Assess the suitability of penitentiary inmates for release under parole and statutory release programs and submit recommendations to parole boards.
  • Participate in decisions about whether cases should go before courts and which court should hear them.
  • Identify and approve work placements for offenders with community service sentences.

Technology Skills

  • Calendar and scheduling software - Appointment scheduling software
  • Data base user interface and query software - Court records databases; Microsoft Access
  • Electronic mail software - Email software; Microsoft Outlook
  • Internet browser software - Web browser software
  • Map creation software - Electronic tracking device software
  • Office suite software - Corel WordPerfect Office Suite; Microsoft Office
  • Presentation software - Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Project management software - Case management software; Tyler Technologies Odyssey Case Manager
  • Spreadsheet software - Microsoft Excel
  • Voice recognition software - Speech recognition software
  • Word processing software - Microsoft Word

Tools Used

  • Alcohol analysers - Breathalyzers
  • Automobiles or cars - Passenger cars
  • Body armour - Protective body armor
  • Desktop computers
  • Dictation machines - Dictating equipment
  • Global positioning system GPS receiver - Electronic tracking devices
  • Handcuffs - Metal handcuffs; Plastic handcuffs
  • Handguns - Law enforcement handguns
  • Laser fax machine - Laser facsimile machines
  • Narcotic test kits - Drug testing kits
  • Notebook computers - Laptop computers
  • Personal computers
  • Photocopiers - Photocopying equipment
  • Riot batons - Side-handle batons
  • Special purpose telephones - Multiline telephone systems
  • Tablet computers
  • Torso and belt restraints - Upper body restraints
  • Two way radios - Mobile radios
  • Urinalysis analyzers - Urine testing kits
  • Videoconferencing systems - Videoconferencing equipment

Knowledge

  • Law and Government - Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
  • Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
  • Public Safety and Security - Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Therapy and Counseling - Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.
  • Sociology and Anthropology - Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Clerical - Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.

Skills

  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Persuasion - Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Service Orientation - Actively looking for ways to help people.
  • Negotiation - Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.
  • Instructing - Teaching others how to do something.
  • Time Management - Managing one's own time and the time of others.

Abilities

  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).

Interests

  • Interest code: SEC
    • Social - Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
    • Enterprising - Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
    • Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Work Context

  • Contact With Others - 89% responded “Constant contact with others.”
  • Telephone - 89% responded “Every day.”
  • Face-to-Face Discussions - 84% responded “Every day.”
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled - 90% responded “Every day.”
  • Electronic Mail - 81% responded “Every day.”
  • Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People - 59% responded “Every day.”
  • Frequency of Conflict Situations - 43% responded “Every day.”
  • Frequency of Decision Making - 54% responded “Every day.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results - 48% responded “Very important results.”
  • Letters and Memos - 44% responded “Every day.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions - 42% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team - 37% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Deal With External Customers - 37% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work - 40% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Time Pressure - 39% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Spend Time Sitting - 36% responded “About half the time.”
  • Deal With Physically Aggressive People - 34% responded “Every day.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate - 42% responded “Very important.”
  • Coordinate or Lead Others - 50% responded “Very important.”
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks - 33% responded “Important.”
  • Physical Proximity - 45% responded “Moderately close (at arm's length).”
  • Exposed to Disease or Infections - 30% responded “Once a year or more but not every month.”
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety - 26% responded “High responsibility.”

Education

Percentage of RespondentsEducation Level Required
86%Bachelor's degree
7%Some college, no degree
7%Master's degree

Work Styles

  • Integrity - Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Self Control - Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Stress Tolerance - Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
  • Dependability - Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Attention to Detail - Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility - Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Independence - Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
  • Concern for Others - Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
  • Cooperation - Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Persistence - Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Analytical Thinking - Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
  • Initiative - Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Social Orientation - Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
  • Achievement/Effort - Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Leadership - Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
  • Innovation - Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.

Work Values

  • Support - Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
  • Relationships - Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
  • Working Conditions - Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.

Wages & Trends

  • Median wages (2017)
    • $24.71 hourly, $51,410 annual
  • Employment (2016)
    • 91,000 employees
  • Projected growth (2016-2026)
    • Average (5% to 9%)
  • Projected job openings (2016-2026)
    • 8,300

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