According to the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, Division of Parole and Probation, there were 39,569 people under supervision in 2012. The 700 parole and probation officers, along with 95 drinking driver monitors, supervise the more than 67,000 offenders in the state who are under mandatory parole or probation. Further, about 60 officers serve as full-time investigators who conduct investigations, criminal justice agencies, and the courts.
Maryland probation and parole officers are a vital part of Maryland’s Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services (DPSCS). Throughout the state, there are 43 community supervision regional and field offices through which a number of programs are operated, including the Community Supervision Enforcement Program, the Violence Prevention Initiative, and the Warrant Apprehension Unit. The ultimate goal of the DPSCS is to overcome the revolving door of the criminal justice system.
Education Requirements for Probation and Parole Officer Careers in Maryland
A bachelor’s degree in criminal justice is the preferred degree for Maryland probation and parole officer jobs, although individuals with bachelor’s degrees in other fields may also be eligible to become probation officers in Maryland, provided they can show proof of at least 30 credit hours in criminal justice.
Probation and Parole Officer Training in Maryland
Training requirements for probation and parole officers in Maryland are quite extensive. All new probation and parole officer recruits must participate in at least 400 hours of entry-level training. Thereafter, all officers must complete at least 18 hours of training annually.
Training for new officers is accomplished through the Maryland Police and Correctional Training Commissions, Community Corrections Unit training academy. The Community Corrections Unit focuses on training for individuals in both offender supervision and management and community corrections.
Violence Prevention Initiative
The Violence Prevention Initiative, through the DPSCS, is designed to focus Maryland resources on the most violent offenders. The Violence Prevention Initiative has developed Watch Centers in four police departments throughout the state, all of which include Community Supervision Agents who are tasked with providing better supervision to violent offenders. As such, this unit has resulted in more than 15,000 violation warrants issued statewide between FY2008 and FY2012. During this time, 6,489 violent offenders in Maryland have had their parole or probation revoked.