New Hampshire’s crime rate is among the lowest in the U.S. It had the lowest murder rate in the country in 2009. This has led to New Hampshire’s having the fewest number of people on probation in the country. As of December 2011, there were 4,121 people on probation in New Hampshire.
In New Hampshire, more than one agency handles probation, supervised release, and parole matters. All of the federal cases in New Hampshire are handled by the United States Probation and Pretrial Office, which has a sub-office in Hillsborough County. This county had the greatest number of federal offenders in 2005. At that time, no probation/parole officers were permanently assigned to this office in Manchester. It was used on a rotating basis as needed.
Requirements to Become a Hillsborough County Probation and Parole Officer
To become a federal probation/parole officer in Hillsborough county, a bachelor’s degree in certain fields is required. They include:
- Criminal justice
- Human relations
- Public Administration.
Additional requirements to apply for federal probation/parole officer jobs include having a valid driver’s license and being younger than 37 at the start of employment.
Training to become a federal probation/parole officer includes:
- Drug identification
- Safety and defensive tactics
- Medical safety
- Use of firearms
- Dealing with suicidal offenders
- Computer monitoring for impulse control devices
Hillsborough County, New Hampshire Probation and Parole Officer Careers
Officers in New Hampshire handle both probation and parole cases, so they are known as probation/parole officers. Fifteen percent of those sentenced for federal offenses in fiscal year 2006 received probation, in some cases after serving some time in prison. Of the 263 individuals supervised, 116 had been arrested for drug violations and 61 for property crimes.
Seventy to eighty percent of those being supervised took part in drug abuse treatment and counseling for mental health in fiscal year 2006. Integrating offenders back into the community is a primary goal of probation and parole, and in fiscal year 2006, 41% of these offenders were employed by the time their supervision had ended.
The Field Services Division of the state’s Department of Corrections handles the remaining probation and parole cases in New Hampshire. Two of the state’s district offices are located in Hillsborough County—one in Manchester and the other in Nashua. Applicants who seek careers with this agency must have a bachelor’s degree.
Hillsborough County Probation and Parole Officer Training
Newly hired officers in Hillsborough County undergo a substantial amount of training to learn how to become probation/parole officers. At first, they train for 9 weeks under the New Hampshire Police Standards and Training Council. This council is located in Concord at the Arthur D. Kehas Criminal Justice Training Facility. Part of this training involves become proficient in firearms. Trainees return home at nights while they are taking part in this training.
After their peace officer training, probation/parole officers receive legal training, so they are knowledgeable about performing arrests and searches and seizures. Subsequent training takes place in the field. After their first year, probation/parole officers undergo an additional forty hours of training a year, including:
- Re-qualifying to use firearms
- Safely using weapons and force
- Using pepper spray and other defensive techniques
- First aid and CPR training