Probation and Parole Officer Career in East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana

The most populous parish in Louisiana is East Baton Rouge Parish, which reported a population of 440,000 in 2010.  The state capitol of Baton Rouge, which is also the state’s second largest city, is found in this parish.  Felony probation and parole services are managed by the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections, while the Baton Rouge Probation Division supervises offenders on misdemeanor and DWI probation.  The Baton Rouge office of the DOC supported 43 probation and parole officers in 2009, with six of those positions replaced by new officers during the year.

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The Baton Rouge district employs a graduated sanctions approach to offender management. This system utilizes an incrementally rising set of sanctions rather than a summary re-incarceration or revocation of parole or probation. The sanctions are developed and applied with consideration of the offender’s risks and criminal history and are designed to elicit compliance with the terms of supervision.  This system also presents significant cost savings through community supervision.

In Baton Rouge, there are three types of probation supervision: unsupervised, supervised, and intensive.  Unsupervised is the least often used and requires no interactions with probation/parole officers.  Supervised probation requires drug testing, paying court and supervision fees, participation in appropriate treatment programs and limited engagement with supervising officers.  The most intrusive form of supervision is intensive which may require electronic monitoring, frequent meetings at the probation office and random home visits and searches.

How to Become a Probation and Parole Officer in East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana

The Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections requires that candidates possess one of the following in order to become a probation and parole officer in East Baton Rouge Parish:

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Six years of full time experience in any field
  • Combination of college courses and professional experience

Although the DOC does not stipulate a major, study in psychology, social science or criminal justice is most preferred.  With a salary range between $25,752 and $57,912 per year, the competition for these jobs may be quite significant.  Prospective candidates are urged to consider obtaining a master’s or other advanced degree, which can significantly increase the likelihood of hiring, quicken the pace of promotion and dramatically bolster salaries.  Candidates may also wish to obtain experience in probation or parole supervision through internships or trainee programs.

Applicants should also possess the following qualifications:

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  • Ability to carry and use firearms
  • Ability to complete Louisiana Police Officer Standards and Training (POST) academy
  • Have a valid Louisiana driver’s license
  • No domestic violence convictions
  • No felony convictions

Mandatory Probation Officer Training

Probation and parole officers must enroll in the twelve-week basic peace officer training program at an accredited police academy within the state.  Trainees will be required to complete the firearms training course and qualify with a score of 80 percent or higher to obtain peace officer certification.  Recertification is required annually through re-qualification with firearms and at least 40 hours of additional training.

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