The Muscogee County parole department shares a district with the counties of Chattahoochee, Talbot, and Marion in the Board of Pardon and Parole’s Southwest Area. In the Columbus metropolitan area there were nearly 600 violent crimes committed in 2011 on top of an additional 14,012 crimes related to theft.
- 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
The vast majority of these crimes were perpetrated in Muscogee County, where parole officers are valued for the quality of their skills and abilities to monitor offenders and enforce their terms of parole. These officers help to bolster Georgia’s ranking in the country, which boasted a 20 percent higher-than-national-average rate of successful parole completion as of 2010.
Education and Experience
The State Board of Parole requires candidates for jobs in Muscogee County to have at least a bachelor’s degree, preferably in criminal justice although any subject areas such as social work, psychology, and criminology are acceptable. Candidates must also have a valid Georgia driver’s license, be at least 21 years old, registered with the Selective Service if male between the age of 21-25, and have obtained a minimum passing score on one of the following tests:
Those who have previously passed the Criminal Justice Test as part of law enforcement certification in Georgia are exempt from this testing requirement. Candidates are preferred to also be able to meet at least one of the following:
- Fluency in an Asian dialect or Spanish
- Master’s degree in criminal justice
- At least a year of previous law enforcement experience
The process of becoming a parole officer begins with a state application. These are accepted when there are vacancies for parole jobs, and the method for submitting the application – online, via email, or through the mail – will be detailed in the specific job announcement on the State’s employment webpage. Candidates should remember to include their official or certified results from the above-mentioned tests along with their complete application.
Along the path to parole officer careers, selected candidates will need to complete a process that includes an extensive background check, medical examination, and drug test.
Newly hired parole officers in Muscogee County begin their careers with an eight-week intensive training academy. Upon graduation the cadets will be certified as peace officers with the authority to carry a weapon and arrest parolees who have violated their conditions. Training is provided in the areas of:
- Firearms: officers will need to re-qualify twice a year with a semi-auto Glock
- State laws and constitutional authority
- Ethical, legal, and moral responsibilities
- Investigation techniques, report writing, and record keeping
- Self defense and physical fitness
Officers complete continuing training courses for a total of 20 hours annually during each successive year of employment.