Clackamas County is the third largest in Oregon with a population of about 375,000. The parole and probation services for this county are conducted through the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office. Supervising officers are designated as Community Corrections Officers and are authorized to manage parolees, probationers and work release offenders.
Requirements to Become a Probation and Parole Officer in Clackamas
The minimum educational requirement for Community Corrections Officer jobs in Clackamas County is a high school diploma, but there are steep knowledge and skill requirements that virtually necessitate at least a bachelor’s degree. These competencies include
- Principles of personnel management
- Operations and techniques in security facilities
- Remedies for behavioral problems in adult offenders
- Casework management
- Criminal justice system
- Sentencing and sanctions
- Performance evaluation
- Federal, state and local parole and probation casework
- Management and team development
- Maintaining discipline with adult offenders
- Make recommendations about cases to judicial officers
- Maintain accurate records
- Establish effective relationships with offenders
The most competitive candidates possess advanced degrees such as master’s and may have several years of experience in community supervision. To obtain similar experience, many local government agencies or community organizations offer internship and volunteer opportunities. In addition to the skills listed above, candidates must also possess the following qualifications
- CPR and first aid certifications
- Ability to pass comprehensive background investigation
- Ability to pass a drug test
- Ability to pass physical and psychological evaluations
- Valid driver’s license and impeccable driving record
What to Expect from a Probation Officer Career in Clackamas County
The success rate of offenders on parole was significantly higher in Clackamas than in other more populous counties, while its success rate with probationers was comparable. While the recidivism rates for parolees in Multnomah and Washington counties were 24.7 and 23.1, respectively in 2008, they were only 12.4 percent for those in Clackamas. The recidivism rate for Clackamas probationers was 16.7 percent in 2008, compared to 16.4 percent in Multnomah and 16.5 in Washington.
In addition to parolees and probationers, the Community Corrections Office supervises work release offenders at the 80 bed Community Corrections Correctional Facility and the 34 bed Residential Center. The offenders housed there may participate in several programs which include substance abuse treatment, job search, cognitive groups, outpatient evaluation and treatment, and individual or group correctional counseling. All offenders housed in these facilities must participate in paid work while they prepare for a transition into society.
Law Enforcement Data System (L.E.D.S.) Certification Program
Within six months of hiring, new officers must complete Law Enforcement Data System (L.E.D.S.) certification program. This program instills knowledge of the state’s police information network. New officers must also complete three week Basic Probation and Parole Officer training program in addition to the one-week Basic Parole and Probation Firearms training program. Upon graduation from these courses, officers are commissioned as Oregon peace officers. This certification must be renewed annually through 80 additional hours of training and re-qualification with firearms.