The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitations (CDCR) divides the state into four Parole divisions. Although division three, Los Angeles County, is the smallest in area, it is densely populated and is home to approximately 16,000 parolees spread among 11 units:
- Grand Canyon University - B.S. in Justice Studies and M.S. in Criminal Justice
- SNHU - A.S. in Criminal Justice, B.S. in Criminal Justice - Corrections, and M.S. in Criminal Justice
- Strayer University - Bachelors of Science Degree in Criminal Justice
Adult parole officers work in offices and in the field supervising, assisting, advising and sometimes arresting parolees released from California correctional facilities.
How to Begin a Career as a Parole Officer in the Los Angeles Division
Persons interested in becoming a parole officer in the Los Angeles division should check the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitations/Career Opportunities website to see if applications are being accepted. Applications are only received when there are parole officer job openings. At that time, scheduling for a required written test is announced on the website. Prospective candidates should be certain they meet the requirements before submitting an application.
Basic qualifications for the job of parole officer in the Los Angeles County division:
- At least 21 years of age
- U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident Status
- No felony convictions
- Bachelor’s degree from an accredited four-year college/university
- OR two years experience in probation/parole; social welfare casework; rehabilitation counseling; medical or psychiatric casework with persons having a criminal background; supervision of inmates in a correctional facility; law enforcement agency investigation of crimes or complaints that included interviewing and report writing.
Hiring Process for Parole Officer in the Los Angeles Division
Candidates who pass the written exam must successfully complete a drug screening and a background investigation. New recruits must also successfully complete training at the California Department of Corrections Training Academy that includes courses in the laws and procedures surrounding arrest, search/seizure, firearms and chemical agents.
Parole officers in Los Angeles County are entitled to medical, dental and vision insurance benefits as well as a generous peace officers retirement plan.
Special Operations of the Los Angeles Adult Parole Division
Operation Guardian focuses on the reduction/elimination of gang violence. As part of that effort, on July 25, 2012, over 400 parole officers, along with several hundred local law enforcement officers, carried out one of the largest and most comprehensive gang sweeps in the department’s history. The officers conducted unannounced early morning compliance checks all across L.A. County at the residences of parolees suspected of involvement with criminal gangs. The operation resulted in over 60 arrests, the confiscation of dozens of weapons, 30 grams of cocaine and 156 grams of marijuana, the rescue of five pit bulls believed to be used for dog fighting, and the placing of one child in protective custody. It is estimated that roughly 7,000 parolees in L.A. County have gang ties.
Operation Boo enforces specific Halloween conditions placed on sex offender parolees. These parolees must remain in their homes after 5 p.m. on Halloween, with all exterior lights extinguished, and no evidence of Halloween decorations or treats. They are forbidden to answer their doors to anyone except parole or other law enforcement officers. Homeless sex offenders are required to report to Transient Sex Offender Curfew Centers on Halloween evening to be certain they are honoring the curfew. Since its inception in 1994, Operation Boo has made Halloween safer for the children of Los Angeles County.