In the state of Iowa, officers are responsible for supervising both probation and parole services. The state is organized into eight judicial districts that are managed by the Iowa Department of Corrections. Probation and parole services in Iowa’s Second Judicial District operate out of eight residential offices. Three of the offices are located in Ames, two are in Marshalltown, two are located in Mason City and one is located in the town of Fort Dodge. Overall, the second district serves parts of 22 counties in north-central Iowa and provides probation and parole for hundreds of offenders in the area.
- Grand Canyon University - B.S. in Justice Studies and M.S. in Criminal Justice
- SNHU - A.S. in Criminal Justice, B.S. in Criminal Justice - Corrections, and M.S. in Criminal Justice
- Strayer University - Bachelors of Science Degree in Criminal Justice
Probation and parole officers in the second district are required to serve as peace officers in the community, which means they have the authority to make arrests of offenders under their supervision and have the option to carry a firearm while on duty.
Minimum Experience and Education Requirements
In order to get a job as a parole and probation officer in Ames, applicants are required to meet a minimum level of education and work experience requirements:
- Must be a United States citizen
- Must have a clean criminal record (no felonies, serious misdemeanors and other charges related to obstruction of justice, assault and perjury)
- Must have a driver’s license
Along with those minimum requirements, all employees working for the Department of Corrections in Iowa’s Second Judicial District are required to meet one of the following sets of experience requirements:
- Two years of college education
- A combination of college education and related experience in criminal justice and human services equivalent to two years of college experience
- A high school diploma and two years of experience in criminal justice or human services
Applicants with a college degree in psychology, sociology, criminal justice or a related field are given preference over other applicants.
Training to Become a Probation and Parole Officer
Once an applicant finishes the hiring process, which is a series of interviews, background checks and physical tests, they can then move onto training and pursuing a career as a probation and parole officer in Ames and the rest of the second district of Iowa. When considering how to become a parole and probation officer, recruits are required to finish 80 hours of training during their first year of employment with the Department of Corrections. After the first year of employment, officers may be required to finish additional training depending on special circumstances. Officers that opt to carry a firearm are required to receive certification and training every year while employed with the department.