Probation Officer Career in Hamilton County, Indiana

The Hamilton County probation office is located in Noblesville, and is one of the largest probation service providers in the state. As of 2011, Hamilton County had 1,806 offenders on probation- the fourth-largest probation population in the state. All probation departments in the state are required to provide probation services for both juvenile and adult offenders, although in Hamilton County most probation officers only work with one or the other and not both.

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Probation officers in Hamilton County, as well as the rest of the state, do not have peace officer status, which means they are not permitted to arrest probation violators under their supervision, but rather must report violations to other law enforcement officials so they can make the arrest. Some probation officers in Indiana are permitted to carry a firearm while on duty, but officers are not allowed to do so in Hamilton County.

Experience and Education Requirements

When an applicant is looking into how to become a probation officer, they must first review the basic requirements and qualifications for the job. The following are the basic requirements:

  • Must be at least 21 years of age
  • Must be a United States citizen
  • Must have a valid drivers license
  • Must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited school
  • Must be of good moral character
  • Must have a criminal record free of felonies and serious misdemeanors
  • Must have probation officer certification

While there is no required major for the bachelor’s degree, those with a degree in criminal justice, psychology, sociology or a similar field are given special consideration in Hamilton County. Also, if an applicant has work, volunteer or internship experience in a related field, they are also given special consideration.

Probation Officer Certification in Hamilton County

In order to get a probation officer job in Hamilton County, an applicant or recruit must have certification from the Indiana Judicial Center, which is located in Indianapolis. In order to become certified, the person must score at least 70-percent on the examination, which consists of multiple choice, true/ false, short answer, definition and essay questions. Those who receive certification before applying are moved along through the hiring process, but probation officers are only required to become certified during the first six months of employment with the department.

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Probation Officer Training in Hamilton County

Once an applicant is moved through the process, they can then begin a career as a probation officer in Hamilton County. Upon being hired, officers are required to attend a week-long orientation program in Indianapolis. The orientation must be attended during the first year of employment; although it is preferred that new employees attend the orientation within the first six months on the job.

There is also an additional 12 hours of training that must be completed every year while employed by the Hamilton County probation department.

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