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Probation and Parole Officer Career in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

The parole and probation office in Cedar Rapids is the main center for offender reentry programs in Iowa’s Sixth Judicial District. In Iowa, more than 96 percent of people in prison will be released and will end up on either parole or probation at some point. In total, there are more than 21,000 offenders on probation and more than 3,400 on parole in the state. The Sixth Judicial District has the second-largest number of offenders in the state.

All parole and probation officers in Iowa have peace officer status, which means they are able to make arrests (only of offenders under their supervision) and are allowed to carry a firearm while on duty.

Requirements and Qualifications

In order to obtain a parole and probation officer job in the Sixth Judicial District, applicants must first meet a series of minimum requirements and qualifications as follows:

  • Must be at least 21 years of age
  • Must have at least a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university, or equivalent
  • Must not have any felonies or other serious charges on criminal record
  • Must be of high moral character and in good physical condition
  • Must have a valid driver’s license
  • Must be a United States citizen

Those seeking probation and parole officer careers in Cedar Rapids should also have extensive experience in counseling services, as that makes up the bulk of the job in Iowa’s Sixth Judicial District. Applicants with a degree in counseling, social work, psychology, sociology or criminal justice are given preference other applicants who do not have such experience. It is also preferred that applicants have volunteer, work or internship experience in those same fields.

Training to Become a Probation and Parole Officer

All probation and parole officers in the sixth district are required to complete 80 hours of training during their first year of employment. Training focuses on arrest procedures, firearms training, counseling techniques and investigation strategies, among many other subjects and skills.

Probation and parole officers in Cedar Rapids are also required to testify in court, which is another focus of training during the first year of employment.

After the first year, officers are then required to complete additional training, as well as attend conferences and other events that focus on refining skills and updating officers on new regulations and changes to standard procedures.