Probation and Parole Officer Career in Jonesboro, Arkansas

Offenders within the Arkansas probation and parole system are given a chance to become law-abiding citizenry of Jonesboro thanks to the work of the probation and parole officers here. In 2012 there were 35,899 people in the Arkansas probation and parole system, costing the taxpayer an average of $1.50 per day- drastically cheaper than the cost of incarceration.

Probation and parole officers supervise parolees who have been released early from their prison sentence, and probationers who have been sentenced to abide by specific terms and conditions. If an offender violates his or her terms of parole or probation, the probation and parole officer will make a report and/or an arrest. In a recent study conducted by the Arkansas Department of Community Corrections, the average recidivism rate for probationer and parolees across the state was about 22 percent, meaning that about one of every five people in the probation and parole system are expected to re-offend.

Getting the Proper Education

Degree Requirements - As a general rule, candidates wanting to begin a career as a probation and parole officer need to have at least a bachelor’s degree in sociology, psychology, criminal justice, social work, or a related field. A qualifications review committee will examine any related work experience alone or in combination with education experience with the possibility of substituting this for the bachelor’s degree requirement.

How to Apply - Applications can be filled out online once a candidate creates an account with the State and there is a job vacancy. Positions are listed as DCC Parole/Probation Officer I/A-4, with last portion of the title corresponding to the fourth district/area in which Jonesboro is located. Because applications are only solicited when there is an opening, candidates should monitor the Arkansas jobs listing website.

Training - Newly hired officers will attend a week-long orientation followed by a six-week probation and parole training academy. They will receive all the essential training required to begin a career as an effective probation and parole officer, as well as the required certifications valid with the Arkansas Law Enforcement Standard Commission and Department of Community Corrections (DCC). Following their first year of employment, officers will need to complete a mandatory 80 hours of annual continuing education.

What to Expect from a Probation and Parole Officer in Jonesboro

Jobs in probation and parole in Jonesboro place officers in the regional center for medicine, trade, education, agriculture, and manufacturing, with several prominent state parks nearby. Jonesboro probation and parole officers work in one of the largest cities in the State of Arkansas. They are responsible for ensuring offenders have the greatest possible chance for rehabilitation, as well as monitoring their compliance with the terms of probation or parole. Although there is no typical day, officers will gain plenty of experience with the following:

  • Intake interviews and offender risk assessments
  • Persuasive motivation appealing to reason and logic
  • Community treatment referrals:
    • Drug and alcohol addiction treatment
    • Housing and food assistance
    • Vocational training
    • Mental health counseling
  • Compiling investigations and reports for presentation

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