Centerville serves as the main hub for parole and probation services in Iowa’s Eighth Judicial District. In the state, services are separated into eight autonomous districts that each serve their respective community. Although the districts do operate independently, they all operate under the supervision of the Department of Corrections in Iowa. In total, there are 33 field offices in the state, six of which are located in the Iowa’s Eighth Judicial District. The offices are located in Centerville, Ft. Madison, Keokuk, Mt. Pleasant, Oskaloosa and Washington.
- 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
As of December 2012, the Eighth Judicial District had 2,038 offenders on probation and 356 offenders on parole (74 percent of the offenders are male.) There are 30 probation and parole officers in the district that are responsible for supervising the progress of the offenders.
In Iowa, probation and parole officers are considered peace officers, which means that they are able to make arrests and are permitted to carry firearms in most jurisdictions.
Education and Experience Requirements
In order to get a job with the Eighth Judicial District parole and probation office to serve Centerville and the surrounding area, applicants must have at least an associate’s degree from an accredited university, although a bachelor’s degree or higher is preferred. Applicants with prior work, volunteer, internship or education experience in criminal justice, psychology, sociology, counseling and other human services related fields are given preference during the hiring process.
Applying and Taking Exams
The application process for parole and probation officers in Centerville and throughout the Eighth Judicial District require the completion of a physical exam and a series of interviews. A background check is also done on all applicants. In order to be hired, all applicants must have a criminal record free of serious misdemeanors and felonies. Since testifying in court is one of the primary responsibilities, applicants must not have any charges related to obstruction of justice or perjury.
Iowa State Law Enforcement Academy Training
Through training, parole and probation officers in Centerville and throughout the Eight Judicial District of Iowa will learn how to make arrests, handle firearms, file paperwork and conduct offender investigations, among other skills. All parole and probation officer training is done at the Iowa State Law Enforcement Academy located in Des Moines, the state’s largest city. During the first year of employment, officers must attend the academy and complete 80 hours of extensive training.
After the first year of employment, those with a parole and probation officer career in Centerville or elsewhere in the Eighth Judicial District may be required to complete additional training and to attend conferences and other special events. Officers must also complete training in order to receive their weapons permit, and the permit must be renewed each year while employed with the Iowa Department of Corrections.