Connecticut offers the third highest average salary for probation officers of any state, at $73,190. The Connecticut Department of Labor predicts that the number of probation officer jobs will grow by 4.4 percent between 2010 and 2020.
Connecticut’s 25 probation offices are managed by the Court Support Services Division within the State of Connecticut Judicial Branch. Connecticut’s probation officer jobs are held by peace officers that possess the authority to arrest, but not the authority to carry firearms.
Education Requirements, Application Process, Exam and Training
Applicants should possess at least a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, social work, or psychology before considering how to become a probation officer in Connecticut. Because Connecticut maintains a smaller than average probation officer population, it is often of great benefit to obtain a master’s degree, doctorate, or complete at least a year of post-graduate course work. Connecticut probation offices also must possess at least a year of experience in offender supervision, detentions, or counseling. In some cases, enrolling in an internship during or following college may be sufficient to meet the work experience qualification.
The completed application should be submitted along with supporting documentation including :
- College transcripts
- Professional license
- Military or corrections employment records
- Employer recommendations
Candidates for probation officer jobs in Connecticut will be required to successfully pass written exams, oral interviews and medical evaluations. Connecticut also requires background checks and drug tests to ensure that probation officers meet the high moral standards necessary to perform their duties.
Once hired, initial training involves a several week program that includes 440 hours of courses in
- Personal defense
- Probation violations
- Client engagement
- Specialized caseloads
- Case supervision
In subsequent years, probation officers are expected to continue their education through state certified training programs. Each year probation officers are expected to receive 40 additional hours of training.
The Current State of Connecticut’s Probation System
The state allocates on average 20-30 adult cases per probation officer with the total number of probationers throughout the state in 2013 being 46,133. Of these 34,446 were under standard adult probation. Almost 8,503 were under Accelerated Rehabilitation Supervision, which includes pretrial defendants and motor vehicle violations. About 182 were in drug dependency supervision, and 672 were participating in Community Service Labor Programs, which allows drug related offenders to perform community service along with attendance of drug education. In 2012 there were 2,301 sex offenders under supervision by Connecticut probation officials. Almost 753 probationers were involved in Supervised Diversionary Programs, which is a specialized probation for offenders with psychiatric issues that are best remediated through supervised treatment.
The CSSD also contracts with private probation companies to monitor and track low risk probationers. In order to ensure public safety, the CSSD embeds staff personnel with these private contractors to oversee procedures and maintain quality control.
Because the prison population in the state grew 82 percent from 1992 to 2003, the state expanded its probation officer workforce. Since then it has instituted several programs designed to minimize probation violations including the Technical Violations Unit, which employs intensive monitoring and rehabilitative strategies with high risk probationers.