Adult parole and probation in Knox County, Tennessee operates under the auspices of the Tennessee Board of Probation and Parole, which is a subsidiary division under the state’s Department of Corrections. Tennessee has 54 division offices that are responsible for monitoring adult probation and parole operations, which are divided into eight regions. In Knox County, probation and parole officers focus primarily on:
- Board Operations: This division is responsible for scheduling timely parole hearings
- Community Correction: Officers in this division are responsible for diverting criminals into the parole system and identifying alternatives to prison or jail time
- Field Services: This branch of parole officers are responsible for supervising inmates once they are granted parole or probation
- Fiscal Services: This branch overlooks the accounting operations of the entire organization
- Hearing Officers: The Hearing Officers serve as a support service for the Board Operations division
- Information Systems: The purpose of this division is to handle the technical support for the day-to-day operations of the entire parole system in Tennessee
- Research, Policy and Planning: The professionals in this division handle the research and analysis of parole data, as well as creating new policies and adjusting old ones
- Training: This division trains all staff members in all divisions
Education and Training Requirements for Parole Officers in Tennessee
Education – Probation and parole officer applicants in Knox County are required to have at least a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university. Applicants with a degree in criminal justice, psychology or social work, or that have relevant work experience are often granted special consideration for probation and parole officer jobs in the county.
Training – Training differs depending on which area of the parole services a new recruit is hired to work for, but all potential employees are required to join the training academy for their particular field. When exploring the options available for becoming a probation and parole officer in Knox County, applicants must consider what field they want to go into and what skills they will need to learn in order to be successful in that field.
During the first year of training, all new employees with the Knox County probation and parole office are required to complete 112.5 hours of training, along with possible additional training throughout the rest of the first year.
Additional Training After The First Year
After probation and parole officers in Knox County complete the first year of training, they are then required to take part in at least 40 hours of training every subsequent year they are employed. Much of the new training will focus on new parole and probation policies, as well as cross-training through other divisions within the Tennessee Department of Corrections in order to be more adaptable to different situations that arise within the organization.