The community corrections circuit office located in Pensacola, Florida is one of the largest in the entire state. As of 2010, there were approximately 7,562 offenders on probation or parole within the jurisdiction of the Pensacola office. In total, the Pensacola office covers not only the city of Pensacola, but also Escambia County, Okaloosa County, Santa Rosa County and Walton County.
- 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
In comparison, the number of people in prison in all of these counties combined was 2,642 as of 2012, according to the Florida Department of Corrections. Since there are many more offenders on probation and parole in the circuit than people in jail, there are many more probation and parole officer jobs supported by the Orlando Community Corrections offices than any other jurisdiction in the state.
Probation and parole officers in the Pensacola district are considered peace officers under Florida law and therefore are allowed to make arrests of offenders under their supervision and also have the option of carrying a firearm while on duty. Most of the offenders in the Pensacola area are serving probation and parole sentences in accordance with felony convictions, although some offenders are serving out misdemeanor sentences for repetition of minor infractions.
It is the responsibility of probation and parole officers to supervise the offenders and make sure that they are on the path towards rehabilitation and integrating back into a regular life outside of prison.
Minimum Requirements and the Hiring Process
When an applicant is considering employment with the Pensacola Department of Community Corrections, they must first review the minimum requirements and qualifications for the position. All job applicants must have at least a bachelor’s degree from an accredited school. If an applicant has work or education experience in sociology, psychology, counseling, social work, criminal justice, military or law enforcement, they may receive some special consideration for available jobs
Applicants who meet the minimum requirements will be required to take a Civil Service Exam, as administered by the Florida Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission, which operates under the Department of Law Enforcement.
Applicants looking to become probation and parole officers in Pensacola must also pass a medical exam, a psychological exam, a background check and a series of interviews with representatives from the Pensacola circuit office of community corrections.
Probation and Parole Officer Training Academy
The applicants who complete the hiring process successfully are required to enroll in a 16-week long training academy during their first year of employment. During the first year, all recruits are required to complete 640 hours of formal training in a variety of subjects.
After the first year of employment, probation and parole officers with careers in Pensacola are required to complete 40 hours of training each subsequent year. Through ongoing training, probation and parole officers will learn new procedures and statutes, which are subject to change from year to year.
Officers who decide to carry a firearm are required to complete additional training and re-certify their firearms permit each year.