Idaho employed almost 610 probation officers in 2010 and provided salaries that averaged $37,010, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The Idaho Department of Corrections supervises almost 14,000 parolees and probationers through its combined Bureau of Probation and Parole. The BPP operates in seven judicial districts and manages 27 field offices.
The Bureau of Probation and Parole operates a variety of programs designed to enhance public safety and facilitate re-integration of probationers and parolees into normal society. One of the most high profile and well-resourced programs is the Sex Offender Management program which oversees the supervision of almost 1,250 felonious sex offenders. Each offender is supervised by two or more probation and parole officers with specialized training. These officers use random visits, curfew checks, sex offender registration, and residential and employment verification to monitor these offenders.
Probation and parole officers are also the principals for the Idaho Department of Corrections’ fugitive recovery units. These officers are partnered with law enforcement investigators in the tracking and apprehension of offenders who have violated their parole, probation or work release.
IDOC also oversees a variety of reentry programs which may begin while the offender is already incarcerated. Probation and parole officers assess the offender and assign them to one or more treatment pathways, which best meet their needs. Immediately before release, offenders are provided information about resources available to them.
Becoming a Probation and Parole Officer in Idaho
In order to serve as an Idaho probation and parole officer, candidates must meet the following minimum requirements:
- Academic or work experience in
- Behavioral science
- Criminal justice
- Social or human welfare
- Computer operations
- Ability to write reports
- Valid driver’s license
- High school diploma
- Meet or exceed physical fitness test components
- 14.0 inch vertical jump
- At least 15 sit ups in one minute
- At least 21 push ups in one minute
- 300 meter run within 77 seconds
- 1.5 mile run in 17 minutes and 17 seconds or less
Although a high school diploma is the minimum requirement, possessing a bachelor’s degree in an appropriate field may satisfy other knowledge and experience requirements. Having a bachelor’s, master’s or doctor’s degree is likely to improve chances of employment, salary expectations, and promotion potential.
Once an application is submitted, the candidate will be investigated for criminal behavior, DUIs, and drug usage. Having friends or family in Idaho corrections may also disqualify applicants. A basic skills examination is also administered; applicants must score 67 or higher to proceed.
Once hired, new officers must report to the Idaho Probation and Patrol Academy to complete a 200 hour basic training program. This introductory curriculum will include courses in
- Field skills
- Interpersonal skills
- Report writing
- Case management
- Court procedures
Following the first year of service, officers are expected to complete 40 hours of additional training annually.