Becoming a parole officer is the perfect career choice if you’re looking for a job that is rewarding, challenging, full of variety and a touch on the dangerous side. Parole officers are responsible for ensuring that convicted criminals are not a danger to the general public while on probationary sentences. As such, parole officers face danger every day simply by performing their jobs and interacting with these often high-risk people. So what exactly do parole officers do that puts them at such considerable risk? Let’s take a look…
The basic job of a parole officer is to keep tabs on convicted criminals who have either been released from incarceration or have been allowed to live and work in society while serving a portion of their sentences, including those on work-release or probation. Parole officers are responsible for ensuring that offenders obey the requirements specified by the court, including things like attending drug treatment programs, reporting for work on a daily basis, and refraining from associations with other known criminals.
Parole officers have daily interaction with some of the worst criminal offenders in society, including murderers, rapists and child abusers. These individuals are often mentally or emotionally unstable and, in addition to an already strong propensity for criminal activity, capable of turning violent at the drop of a hat. Parole officers are often seen by these criminals and their associates as controllers who stand in the way of the lives they once lead. As a result, parole officers sometimes become targets of retribution.
Officers are also required to make home visits, where there may be uncertainty about whether weapons are present. And since parole officers can make recommendations that help to determine an offender’s freedom or incarceration, there is always an inherent danger of their lives being threatened during such visits.