According to the FBI’s 2009 report, Crime in the United States, Maine has the lowest rate of violent crime of any state in the nation, at 119.8 violent crimes per 100,000 residents per year. Since 2004, Maine has experienced a rate of adult probation recidivism (being rearrested for a new crime) of about 24 percent after one year of probation, which is below the national average. The dedicated men and women working as probation and parole officers in Portland help contribute to this low rate of recidivism.
Probation and parole offices, otherwise known as community corrections offices in Maine, are divided into regions statewide, under the control of the Maine Department of Corrections Adult Community Corrections Division. Portland serves as the location for the main community corrections office for Maine’s Judicial Region 1. Other offices in this region are located in:
- South Paris
Probation officer careers in Portland, Maine could be based out of any of these six Region 1 offices.
Education and Experience Needed to Become a Probation and Parole Officer in Portland
In order to become a probation and parole officer in Portland, applicants should have a bachelor’s degree. This degree should be in a major such as criminal justice, social science, behavioral science or a related area.
Along with this degree, six months of experience in law enforcement, case management, counseling or probation/parole is desirable for applicants interested in starting a probation officer career in Portland. Any equivalent combination of education and experience may be substituted if approved by the Maine Department of Corrections Adult Community Corrections Division. All candidates for probation officer jobs in Portland must also have a valid Class C Maine driver’s license.
Disqualifiers to Becoming a Probation and Parole Officer in Portland
An applicant is automatically disqualified from becoming a probation and parole officer in Portland under any of these circumstances:
- Conviction for murder or any Class A, B or C crime in Maine or the equivalent in another state
- Conviction for any Class D crime in Maine or the equivalent in another state
- Engaging in conduct that would violate, and/or conviction for violation of the Maine Criminal Code, such as theft, falsifying official information, bribery, corruption, and drugs
- Conviction for violating domestic abuse laws at the state or federal level
- Conviction for operating a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol in the past 10 years
- Current abuse of drugs or alcohol
- Giving false information in job application or interview
Maine’s Application Process
When a probation and parol officer job in Portland, or elsewhere in Region 1, becomes available, it will be posted on the Maine Department of Corrections website, along with a link to access the job application. Applicants must complete the application in its entirety, including any supplemental information requested.
All applicants must undergo a criminal history check, background check and psychological exam before embarking upon a probation and parole officer career in Portland, Maine.
Training for Probation and Parole Officers in Portland
The first six months of a probation and parole officer career in Portland, Maine will consist of a probationary period. During this time, new probation officers receive on-the-job training. New hires must undergo 240 hours of training in the first year of employment. This will include firearms qualification.
Probation and parole officers in Portland, Maine must complete 40 hours of continuing education training each year in order to maintain their positions. This also includes firearms re-qualification.