The city received some unwanted media attention in January 2013, when stories of a gruesome homicide involving four young adults robbing, murdering and dismembering two friends in Joliet hit the press. One of the suspects was the child of a Joliet police officer. While only one of the suspects had an extensive criminal record, drug use was involved.
Parole officers in Joliet (called parole agents) work with the Joliet Police Department to try to keep violent criminals, drug users and repeat offenders off the street of this city. Although this crime made national news headlines, Joliet’s rate of violent crime is relatively low. According to the FBI’s 2011 statistics, Joliet reported 517 violent crimes that year, in a city with a population of just under 150,000.
Steps to Become a Parole Agent in Joliet
Education – Joliet parole agents are expected to have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution. The Illinois Department of Corrections Parole Division prefers that the degree be in one of the following fields:
- Social science, including (but not limited to):
- Social work
- Social psychology
- Criminal studies
- Behavioral science (including, but not limited to):
- Human behavior
- Law Enforcement
Experience – Joliet parole agents are also expected to possess relevant work experience. The following fields are examples of what the Illinois Department of Corrections Parole Division prefers this experience be gained in:
- Law enforcement
Applying – The Illinois Department of Corrections website instructs interested candidates to go to Work4Illinois to search and apply for available parole agent jobs in Joliet. In addition to having the right education and experience, candidates must also have a valid driver’s license and pass the Corrections Parole Agent Exam . Skills necessary to be an effective parole agent in Joliet will be tested, including:
- Reading comprehension
- Problem solving and analytical thinking
- Technical report writing
- Computer skills
- Counseling skills
Training – In addition to training on the job, all parole agents in Joliet must complete eight weeks of initial training at the Illinois Department of Corrections in Springfield.
Because Joliet parole agents must become certified to carry firearms on the job, they must also complete 40 hours of firearms training and annual training to keep this certification. To carry firearms when not working, Joliet parole agents must become certified through Illinois Parole Agent Concealed Carry.
The History of Parole Officer Jobs in Joliet
A book entitled The Joliet Prison Post sheds light on what life was like as a parole officer in Joliet in 1914. Many of the duties of a parole agent in Joliet weren’t that much different than they are today. In the Post, it is written that parole agents “visit the employers to learn how the paroled prisoner is getting on and then we talk with the prisoner and learn what he has to report. We do the utmost to keep the fact that the man is a prisoner on parole from all but the employer.”
Although times have changed, the need for discretion has not. Today’s parole agents in Joliet also strive to keep a parolee’s identity confidential to the best of their ability.