Alaska is by far the largest U.S. state in area. Although Texas, the second largest state, could fit into roughly one-third of Alaska, “the last frontier” ranks only 47th in population. This anomaly is reflected in the state’s 13 probation offices. Anchorage, which holds slightly less than half of Alaska’s population, is home to the state’s largest probation office which employs 43 adult probation/parole officers, including units that specialize in the supervision of mentally ill and sex offenders.
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In contrast, offices like those in Sitka and Nome each have only one probation/parole officer. With 4,800 square miles within its city boundaries, Sitka has the distinction of being the single largest town in the U.S. Its 8,952 (2011) residents never have reason to feel crowded. The territory of the probation/office, located on Baranof Island, also includes Wrangell, Petersburg (Alaska’s “Little Norway”) and two villages which are only accessible by boat or plane. Similarly, the lone probation/parole officer in Nome covers the entire Bering Strait region which is approximately the size of South Carolina.
Basic Requirements for Becoming a Probation/Parole Officer in Alaska
Applications for the position of Alaska probation/parole officer are only accepted from persons who meet the following requirements:
- U.S. citizen or resident alien on a track toward citizenship
- At least 21 years of age
- High school diploma or GED
- Honest (any falsifications result in immediate disqualification)
- Good moral character
- Physically fit
- No felony or misdemeanor convictions
- No record of possession of illegal substances
How to Apply for the Job of Probation/Parole Officer in Alaska
Go online to Workplace Alaska and click on current job openings. Applications are only accepted for open positions. Individuals can either apply online or call 800/587-0430 to request a hard copy. Completed applications should be mailed to the address indicated.
Hiring Process for Probation/parole Officer in Alaska
Qualified applicants are notified of the time and place to begin the hiring process which includes the following steps:
- Personal interview
- Written examination
- Fingerprinting/background investigation
- Medical examination
- Psychological evaluation
- Job offer
- Training Academy
All newly hired recruits for the job of probation/parole officer in Alaska are required to attend six-weeks of training at the Basic Probation Officer Academy in Palmer, Alaska. The academy is not a resident facility; students who live outside the Anchorage/Matsu area are housed in a hotel. The curriculum includes classroom and “hands-on” instructions.
Students who successfully complete the training receive certification as a Probation/Parole Officer by the Alaska Police Standards Council. The average annual salary of Alaska Department of Corrections officers is $36,000 with medical/dental/vision/life insurance, 11 paid holidays and competitive sick leave and vacation policies. Salaries vary considerably depending on location and experience.