In Montgomery, Alabama probation and parole officers hold offenders to the terms of their sentences, while also helping them readjust and become productive citizens of their city. It is over 27 times cheaper in Alabama to have an offender sentenced to probation than incarceration, and as of 2012 there were 56,924 offenders in the probation and parole system statewide.
In 2012 there were 130 probation officers employed in Montgomery, making an average annual salary of $47,140 per year. Across the state in the same year, there were 351 probation and parole officers in charge of conducting 51,716 investigations.
Getting the Right Education
Applying to begin a career as a probation and parole officer in Montgomery requires the candidate to possess a bachelor’s degree in any subject field, including social work, psychology, and criminal justice. Degrees must be from an accredited university or college as stipulated by the Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles and other state regulations.
Applications for Montgomery probation and parole officer jobs are accepted on a continuous basis at the State’s personnel department on North Union Street. The application is a simple four-page document asking for information about a candidate’s past jobs, criminal history, and education. The personnel department will contact successful applicants with a date and time to take a multiple-choice civil service exam to test for basic skills. This is followed by a physical agility test in the areas of a 1.5-mile run, push-ups, sit-ups, and the completion of a short obstacle course. Next there is an interview, followed by a background check and drug test. The candidate must successfully pass and be accepted through each step of the application process.
Training for a Probation and Parole Officer Career
Upon hire, probation and parole officers complete a thorough 12-week training academy and gain certification as Alabama Peace Officers. New recruits will receive training in:
- Use of deadly force and firearms
- Arrest procedures and techniques
- Probation and parole philosophy and system
- Offender intake interviews and risk assessments
- Psychological evaluations and persuasive techniques
- Community resource referrals and information
Upon graduation from the training academy, officers will continue their training in an 80-hour supervised in-service program. After the first year in their new career, officers will also need to attend a mandatory 12-hours of continuing education and training annually.