The Illinois Department of Corrections managed nearly 29,000 inmates in FY2011, with the Parole Division managing 24,693 during this time. FY2011 also brought about a 47 recidivism rate, a six-year low for the Division.
Education and Experience Qualifications for Parole Agent Careers in Illinois
Individuals interested in achieving correction parole agent careers in Illinois must first work toward a bachelor’s degree in one of the social or behavioral sciences, law enforcement, or a closely related field.
Desirable candidates, according to the Department, must also possess, at a minimum, six months of professional experience in law enforcement or probation, parole or counseling work in an institution that is focused on the treatment and rehabilitation of committed persons.
Training Requirements for Parole Agents Jobs
All new state correctional parole agents must complete a per-service orientation upon being hired, followed by an eight-week course and a training academy. The training academy is located at the headquarters of the Illinois Department of Corrections in Springfield, Illinois.
All parole agents in Illinois must complete a 40-hour mandatory firearms training course through the Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board and must re-qualify on an annual basis.
Parole Programs through the Illinois Department of Corrections
The Illinois Department of Corrections has initiated a number of programs designed to encourage parolees successfully reentry into the community. Individuals who want to learn how to become a parole agent in Illinois may seek positions in these specialized programs:
Summit of Hope: The Summit of Hope, a cooperative effort between the Illinois Department of Corrections and the Illinois Department of Health, is an event that brings parolees and local service providers together to help parolees obtain the necessary assistance to begin to lead a successful life.
Day Reporting Centers: There are seven day reporting centers throughout Illinois that provide reentry services for parolees in high-impact regions who are vulnerable to gangs, violence, unemployment and poverty.
Placement Resource Unit: The Placement Resource Unit is specifically designed to assist offenders with special needs, including those with mental health or substance abuse issues.
Incarcerated Veterans Transition Program: This program serves the needs of veteran offenders and helps identify programs and services that support their transition back into society. Programs include employment workshops, counseling, and access to benefits like health services and housing.