Probation officers in Howard County are referred to as parole and probation agents and work for The Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services (DPSCS). The Ellicott City Field Office is the only parole and probation office in Howard County. Parole and probation agent careers in Howard County, Maryland are spent working out of that location, although the job also involves a considerable amount of travel.
The 2010 Uniform Crime Report for Howard County notes that in 2010, the number of murders, manslaughters, rapes and aggravated assaults went down in the county from the year before. Total arrests in the county decreased by 5.34 percent from 2009’s totals. However, crime continues to be a problem in Howard County that requires the continued expertise of parole and probation agents.
Education Necessary to Become a Parole and Probation Agent in Howard County
In order to become a parole and probation agent in Howard County, candidates must be at least 21 years of age and hold a bachelor’s degree. Additionally, candidates must have taken at least 30 college credits in correctional, social and behavioral science coursework. Previous experience in the parole and probation, correctional, behavioral or social science field is not required for new parole and probation agents in Howard County.
As they become available, the State of Maryland Job Openings website will post open parole and probation agent jobs for Howard County. The state requires applicants to file online if interested in these positions. The next step after filing an application is to take the state’s parole and probation agent examination. For those who pass, names are placed on an eligible roster, from which people are called as job vacancies in parole and probation become available. Names will remain on this roster for one year or until called for a vacant parole and probation agent job.
Training for Parole and Probation Agents in Howard County
Much training is required for new parole and probation agents in Howard County. The Maryland Police and Correctional Training Commission insists upon all new agents receiving a minimum of 400 hours of training during the first year on the job. If a parole and probation agent is asked to carry a firearm as part of their job description, firearms training and qualification will also be provided.
All parole and probation agents in Howard County must complete 18 hours of continuing education training each year in order to keep their jobs. If a parole and probation agent is qualified to use firearms, re-qualification is also mandated on a yearly basis.