Parole officers are employed by the Massachusetts Parole Board, which is under the Executive Office of Public Safety. The Massachusetts Parole Board conducts more than 10,000 in-person parole release hearings and supervises more than 8,000 parolees on an annual basis. The Board also provides reentry services to more than 700 state offenders annually who have no post-release supervision requirements.
Minimum Requirements for Parole Officer Jobs
Individuals seeking careers as parole officers in Massachusetts must meet the Board’s minimum qualifications for employment, although there are a number of ways to satisfy them:
- Possess at least five years of full-time experience in the fields of criminal justice, social work, probation or parole, psychology, rehabilitation counseling, or vocational counseling; OR
- An associate’s degree or higher in law enforcement, social work, criminal justice, psychology, law, sociology, human services, counseling, or rehabilitation plus two years of full-time experience; OR
- A master’s degree in criminal justice, law, social work, law enforcement, sociology, human services, psychology, counseling or rehabilitation plus one year of full-time experience; OR
- A doctorate in psychology, sociology, social work, criminal justice, law enforcement, human services, counseling or rehabilitation
Candidates must also be able to obtain a permit and be certified to carry firearms and all must possess a valid Massachusetts driver’s license.
Certificate and Training Requirements
Individuals seeking parole officer careers in Massachusetts must complete training during the first year of their employment. They may need to obtain a certificate in one or more of the following areas:
- Defense tactics instruction
- Firearms instructors
- Handgun retention
- Pepper spray
- Pepper spray instructors’
All parole officers must also complete training and firearms qualification on an annual basis.
The Massachusetts Parole Board
The Parole Board currently has more than 200 employees, all of which are assigned to state and county correctional institutions throughout Massachusetts, including the central administrative office in Natick and seven regional field offices in:
- New Bedford
Individuals who want to learn how to become a parole officer in Massachusetts may want to explore the Board’s many specialized units, which include:
- Transitional services unit
- Field services unit
- Reentry unit
- Warrant and apprehension unit
- Victim services unit
- Legal unit
- Executive clemency unit
The Parole Board opened eight regional reentry centers in 2004, all of which are designed to help parolees reintegrate into society.
The Intensive Parole for Sex Offenders Program is a specialized program that manages and supervises sex offenders under a strict set of conditions.