Probation and Parole Officer Careers in Louisiana

99 percent of the probationer and parolee offenders in the State of Louisiana are felons. There are 511 sworn probation and patrol officers assigned to supervise these offenders, who number more than 70,000. In addition to supervision, officers are responsible for investigating pre-sentences, pre-paroles, and pardons, which last year were over 3,600. On average probation and parole officers (PPOs) have a caseload of 137 offenders, and the starting pay is $2,504.66 per month, or just over $30,000 per year.

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Education for PPO jobs in Louisiana

As a general requirement, the state mandates candidates to have at least a bachelor’s degree in any field when applying for careers as PPOs, including psychology, social work, criminal justice, or any other accredited major. However this education requirement may be substituted by having six years of full-time work experience in any field. Education and work experience may be combined to meet this requirement, with 59 semester hours equaling one year of experience, up to a maximum of 120 semester hours equaling four years.

Probation and Parole Officer Training

PPOs deal with offenders from all walks of life in a wide variety of situations. Therefore the State of Louisiana believes it to be pertinent to provide a broad training program for PPOs, qualifying them to assist local law enforcement when needed and be highly adaptable. New hires will attend a special Probation and Parole Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Academy that includes 420 hours of training in:

  • First aid and CPR
  • Firearms
  • Orientation to criminal justice
  • Investigations and report writing
  • Patrol activities and traffic services
  • Specialized activities
  • Officer survival

After graduating, officers must also complete an additional 40 hours of training. To graduate from the academy officers must:

  • Shoot a passing score on a firearms range
  • Pass a basic-skills written test
  • Pass a basic physical fitness test
  • Pass a final and cumulative POST exam

Additional Requirements

Other requirements in the process of how to become a PPO in Louisiana stipulate that candidates:

  • Be eligible to work in the United States
  • Have no felony or domestic violence convictions
  • Pass the Civil Service Professional Entry-Level Test (PET)
  • Have the ability to carry a firearm
  • Pass a background check, physical exam, and psychological evaluation

Abilities Required

PPOs will be trained in specific skills and abilities they will need to develop in order to be successful officers. Training is provided on-the-job, and each year officers receive additional continuing education to stay up to date. Jobs and careers as PPOs involve:

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  • Tracking high-risk offenders with a Global Positional Satellite system
  • Preparing reports for the parole board and courts
  • Administering and evaluating drug tests
  • Conducting background investigations
  • Enforcing conditions of supervision and arresting offenders for violations of such
  • Helping offenders re-integrate into society with mental health programs, vocational training, and drug treatment programs
  • Connecting offenders with appropriate community resources

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