Florida has one of the largest populations of correctional professionals in the country, supporting more than 4,700 probation and parole officer jobs as of 2010.
Florida’s main employer of probation officers, the Florida Department of Corrections reported salaries ranging from$33,478 to $51,603 for its certified officers. DOC also reported annual bonuses of $2,740 for probation and parole officers working in Palm Beach, Broward, Dade or Monroe counties.
How to Become a Probation and Parole Officer in Florida
Florida probation and parole officer jobs are available to candidates that meet the following requirements:
- Be a U.S. citizen
- Be 19 years of age
- Have a bachelor’s degree
- Possess a valid driver’s license
- No felony convictions; no misdemeanor convictions involving perjury
Applicants should submit their application along with the following documents:
- College transcripts
- Military service history
- Employer recommendations
Applicants will be subjected to a medical evaluation and should possess high enough physical fitness to complete a rigorous 16 week training program. A thorough background investigation will also be conducted to determine the candidate’s criminal history and moral character.
Basic Recruit Training and Certification Exam for Probation and Parole Officers
Once an officer is hired, they must complete the Basic Recruit Training Course which includes 640 hours of instruction in:
- Defensive tactics
- Legal issues related to corrections
- First aid
- Interpersonal skills
After completion of the 16-week course, recruits must pass the State Officer Certification Examination in order to become commissioned peace officers and ultimately go on to become probation and parole officers. Former local, state, federal and military police officers may request exemption from this requirement.
After a year of service, probation and parole officers must receive 40 additional hours of training each year, which should include firearms qualifications.
The Current State of Florida’s Probation and Parole Services
The state of Florida maintains 131 Probation and Parole Field Service locations throughout the state. These offices and their assigned officers perform a wide variety of services including
- Pretrial intervention
- Electronic monitoring
- Parole supervision
- Conditional release
- Medical release
- Administrative probation
- Drug offender probation
- Sex offender probation
- Community Control
As of June 30, 2012, there were 145,849 offenders under the supervision of Florida DOC. Almost $72 million in fines, victim restitution, and fees were collected by probation and parole officers from these offenders. These offenders completed almost 1.5 million hours of community service during 2011-12. Of the 91,000 supervised offenders, almost 45 percent successfully completed their parole or probation, while 15 percent had their supervision revoked because of a new arrest. About 23 percent had their supervision revoked due to a technical violation, e.g. broken curfew, missed meeting, or drug violation.