Adult probation and parole services in Fayette County, Kentucky operate out of the area’s main office, which is located in Lexington. Probation and parole services in the state are divided up into 20 judicial districts; Fayette County being the ninth judicial district. Other areas covered in Fayette County include the suburban town of Winchester, as well as the largely rural towns of Athens, Clays Ferry and Little Texas. Other than Lexington and its suburbs, the rest of the county is rural and sparsely populated.
How to Become a Probation and Parole Officer: Requirements and Qualifications
The following are the basic requirements to become a probation and parole officer in the ninth judicial district of Kentucky:
- Must be at least 21 years of age
- Must be a United States citizen
- Must have a valid drivers license
- Must pass a drug screen
- Must have no felonies or certain misdemeanors on record
- Must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university
No experience is required in order to become a probation and parole officer in Fayette County, but applicants with a bachelor’s degree in social work, counseling, psychology, criminology, criminal justice or other human and social services fields are given special consideration over other applicants.
Training and Certification
Upon completion of the hiring process, the next step in getting a probation and parole officer job in Fayette County is the completion of training. The Central Region Training Center is responsible for training all probation and parole recruits in the ninth judicial district and is located in LaGrange, Kentucky.
Training is organized into three phases. The first phase is basic training via a computer-based course. The second phase includes firearms training and counseling techniques and the third phase includes on-the-job training. During the first year of employment, officers must complete 120 hours of training. After the first year, officers must complete 40 of hours of training and get their firearms license certified.
Probation and Parole Officer Duties
In Kentucky, officers have peace officer status, which means they have the authority to make arrests and are required to carry a firearm while on duty. Probation and police officers can only arrest parole and probation violators that are under their supervision. The main duties of officers in the ninth judicial district are to supervise and counsel offenders, conduct interviews and investigations and to file paperwork with the appropriate law enforcement agencies and courts, among many other duties. The mandated firearm qualification is unique amongst most probation and parole departments across the rest of the country, as most probation officers are either not allowed to carry a firearm or it is only an optional choice in some states.