The Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles reported that, during FY2011, 71 percent of all parolees successfully completed their parole programs, compared to the national average of 51 percent. The Board also reported that for five consecutive years the Board maintained a success rate of parole completion of 20 percent higher than the national average. As such, the Board is now viewed as a nationally recognized paroling authority.
Education Requirements for Georgia Parole Officer Jobs
All parole officers in Georgia are certified state peace officers who have the authority to carry firearms and arrest parolees. Therefore, parole officers in Georgia must possess, at a minimum, a four-year, college degree.
However, preferred qualifications for parole officer careers in Georgia include a master’s degree in criminal justice from an accredited college or university, an undergraduate degree in criminal justice, at least one year of law enforcement experience, and fluency in Spanish or Asian dialects. Candidates must meet all of these preferred qualifications in order to receive preferential consideration for Georgia parole officer jobs.
All individuals interested in learning how to become a parole officer in Georgia must also be either POST certified in the State of Georgia or have an acceptable score on the ASSET, SAT, ACT, ASSET, or CPE test.
Training Requirements for Parole Officer Jobs in Georgia
During FY2011, the Board’s training unit delivered nearly 34,000 hours of training to the department’s workforce, which totaled about 12,000 more training hours than FY2010. Sworn training hours totaled more than 26,000 in FY2011.
Newly hired parole officers must complete a minimum of eight weeks of basic training at the Public Safety Training Center in Forsyth, Georgia, within a year of being hired. Two basic parole officer training courses were conducted in FY2011, through which 29 new parole officers graduated. Just some of the areas covered during basic training for parole officers include:
- Intervention strategies
- Criminal and Georgia law
- Supervision techniques
- Investigation procedures
- Parole Board policies and procedures
- Physical fitness
- Arrest procedures
- Interview skills
- Defensive tactics
- Firearms qualification
- Computer interaction
Basic training includes a firearms qualification, as all parole officers must be certified to use an agency-issued service weapon.
All parole officers must complete an additional 20 hours of in-service training on an annual basis, including mandatory firearms qualification and use of deadly force.
About the Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles
The Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles, which is part of Georgia’s executive branch of government and is responsible for ensuring successful prisoner reentry into the community and public safety, consists of a five-member Board, all of whom have extensive experience in the fields of private business, criminal justice, and legislature.
As of FY2011, there were 676 full-time staff members of the Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles, which included 48 chief parole officers, 35 assistant chief parole officers, and 284 parole officers.