Delaware is small state with a similarly small number of probation and parole officials, which the state has combined into a single occupation. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 430 parole and probation officer jobs were found in the state in 2010. The average annual salary for these law enforcement professionals was $41,950.
The five probation and parole offices in the state are managed by the Bureau of Community Correction, Division of Probation and Parole. Officers are fully imbued with the authority to act as law enforcement officials with arrest and firearms privileges. Probation and parole officers often perform duties in collaboration with local, state and federal police organizations. Involvement in investigations and other law enforcement operations on joint task forces with U.S. marshals, Governor’s Task Forces and Safe Street teams is not uncommon.
Delaware’s Central Violation Probation Center
Delaware recently established a Central Violation of Probation Center, which include halfway housing, work release, and drug treatment. This facility is designed for technical violators who do not comply with administrative terms of their probation like a failure to report to their supervising officer or breaking curfew. The CVPC is considered a final opportunity for probationers to modify their lifestyles before re-sentencing.
Becoming a Probation and Parole Officer in Delaware
Candidates exploring how to become a probation and parole officer in Delaware must have graduated from an accredited four-year college degree with a bachelor’s degree. Applicants who have a J.D. or master’s degree are likely to have a competitive advantage during the selection process as well as at later stages of their careers including promotion and job success. The most common degree majors are psychology, criminology, corrections, and social work.
Completed applications should be submitted to the Department of Corrections along with supporting documents including resumes, transcripts and recommendations.
Applicants should have skills in the following areas:
- Narrative report writing
- Behavior management, assessing behavioral patterns and triggers, and recommending appropriate modification strategies
- Interviewing subjects within structured and unstructured settings to gather facts and determine appropriate courses of action
- Case management techniques including planning, monitoring, and resourcing options for clients
Although these skills are most easily acquired through professional work in the corrections or social work fields, it may be possible to obtain sufficient competencies to academic or paid internships.
Mandatory Probation and Parole Officer Training in Delaware
Upon hiring, new officers are expected to complete a nine-week training program that includes 480 of coursework in
- Offender assessment
- Weapons training
- Legal issues
- Case processing
- Search and Seizure law
- Defensive tactics
After graduation, probation and parole officers are expected to complete 40 additional hours of coursework annually.