According to statistics provided by the Aurora, Illinois police department, in 2010 the city’s crime rate dropped to an all-time low. That year, the crime rate in Aurora was 221 per 10,000 people. This represented an 11 percent drop from 2009’s numbers and the lowest crime rate seen in the city since before 1978, when crime rates were not yet tallied.
Aurora’s mayor thanked the Aurora Police Department and community organizations for this dramatic decrease in crime in the city. Parole officers (called parole agents) in Aurora likely had much to do with this decline as well. In Aurora, parole officer jobs involve making sure that once convicts are released on parole, they can find a place to work, live and socialize without fraternizing with dangerous elements of society.
Qualifications for Parole Agents in Aurora
Education – A bachelor’s degree is a prerequisite for all parole agent jobs in Aurora, per the Illinois Department of Corrections Parole Division. Not just any bachelor’s degree will suffice – it must be in one of these majors:
- Law enforcement
- Behavioral science (such as corrections, human behavior, psychology)
- Social science (such as criminal studies, criminology, social psychology, sociology, social work)
Experience – Experience is a must in order to become a parole agent in Aurora. At least six months’ work experience in one, or a combination, of these areas is required:
- Rehabilitative counseling
- Law enforcement
Becoming a Parole Agent in Aurora
Applying – Available parole agent jobs in Aurora are advertised on Work4Illinois, the state government’s employment website. All Aurora parole agent candidates must apply online. Part of the hiring process, if selected, is taking the Corrections Parole Agent Exam, which tests knowledge of the following areas:
- Analytical problem solving skills
- Reading comprehension
- Technical report writing skills
- Computer skills
Training – Parole agent training in Aurora is accomplished on-the-job and through the Illinois Department of Corrections in Springfield, where new Aurora parole agents will spend eight weeks in basic parole agent coursework.
Additionally, Aurora parole agents are mandated to carry firearms and therefore must take 40 hours of firearms training. Requalification on an annual basis is required to keep carrying firearms on the job. Certification through Illinois Parole Agent Concealed Carry must be completed if Aurora parole agents wish to carry firearms when off-duty.
Resources for Parolees in Aurora
Aurora is in Illinois’ Second Judicial District, and houses a parole office serving this district in the northern portion of the city. Parole agent careers in Aurora involve working with a variety of social services agencies to help parolees get back on their feet. Therefore, parole agents in Aurora must have extensive knowledge of community resources to which they will refer parolees on a daily basis. These resources include:
- R.I.T.A.S on Galena Boulevard, provides assistance with medical payments, counseling, and work options
- Hessed House on South River Street, provides shelter housing
- Wayside Cross Ministries on New York Street, provides employment opportunities, shelter housing and counseling services
- Breaking Free on Gale Street, provides substance abuse counseling
- Opportunity House on Lake Street, provides housing and substance abuse counseling