Des Moines is the largest probation and parole provider in Iowa and is the main regional hub for the fifth district. In Iowa, probation and parole offices are organized into eight districts with 33 field offices. The fifth district consists of 11 offices: five located in Des Moines proper, and then other offices located in the towns of Adel, Charlton, Creston, Indianola, Knoxville and Newton.
In total, the fifth district has 7,386 offenders on probation (2,282 females and 5,077 males) and 1,058 offenders on parole (199 females and 859 males.) About 59 percent of all the offenders on probation and parole in the fifth district are serving sentences related to aggravated misdemeanor chargers and serious misdemeanor charges. Probation and parole officers in Iowa are authorized to make arrests and carry a firearm while on duty.
Education and Experience Requirements
Before an applicant takes part in the hiring process for a parole and probation officer job, they must first meet certain criteria. There are a set of minimum education and experience requirements that all applicants must meet before being considered for jobs with the Department of Corrections, the organization that supervises all hiring processes in Iowa’s fifth district. The minimum requirements are as follows:
- Must be a United States citizen
- Must have a valid driver’s license
- Must pass a criminal background check
- Must be a high school graduate
Applicants with a bachelor’s degree in the social sciences (psychology, sociology, criminal justice, etc.) will be given preference over applicants who do not have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited school. Also, applicants that have relevant work or internship experience in counseling or human services are given preference over applicants who do not have such experience.
In order to begin a probation and parole officer career in Des Moines and throughout Iowa’s fifth district, applicants will be tested for knowledge related to the Iowa Communications Network, as well as state laws and arrest procedures.
Upon completion of the hiring process, applicants must then undergo training. During the first year of employment, parole and probation officers in Des Moines are required to complete 80 hours of training in arrest procedures, firearms handling, investigative and counseling techniques, among many other skills.