A 2010 report found that Minnesota has nearly twice the number of people on probation as did its neighbor, Wisconsin (132,541 people in Minnesota vs. 70,216 people in Wisconsin), although Wisconsin had twice the number of prison inmates as Minnesota. In Minnesota, probation and parole services are provided by dual role professionals who serve as probation and parole officers. Probation and parole officers in the state may work through a county probation department (CCA), through the Minnesota Department of Corrections, or through County Court Services.
Minnesota’s shift toward probation and community-based programs for lesser offenses has decreased state spending on corrections considerably
Probation and Parole Services in Minnesota
Probation and parole services in Minnesota are provided in three ways:
Community Corrections Act (CCA): There are 17 jurisdictions and 32 counties that participate in the Minnesota Community Corrections Act (CCA), which provides probation, parole, and supervised release services. Counties with populations of more than 30,000 may elect to participate in the CCA. Through the CCA, the county of jurisdiction provides all probation and correction services.
Department of Corrections (DOC): The Minnesota Department of Corrections (DOC) provides probation, diversion, parole, and supervised release services through 54 field services offices throughout the state. The Department of Corrections Field Services provides services to the 55 counties in Minnesota that do not participate in the CCA. The probation services through the DOC are state-provided services and therefore under the direction of district supervisors.
County Court Services (CPO): Probation officers may be appointed through the district court and supervised by the county’s court services in the county in which they work. Probation officers in this capacity are referred to as County probation officers, or CPOs. There are now about 28 counties in Minnesota who appoint their own probation officers.
Applying for Minnesota Probation and Parole Officer Jobs
Hiring practices, salaries, and benefits for probation and parole officers may vary based on the hiring party.
Minimum qualifications for each type of delivery system are as follows:
DOC: Individuals may qualify for employment as a probation and parole officer with the DOC in two ways:
- Option A: Designed for college students who complete an internship
- Option B: Designed for individuals without college experience; this option requires the candidate to take a test
More information on hiring practices through the DOC for probation and parole officers can be found through the Minnesota Department of Employee Relations.
CCA: CCA counties may use the state eligibility list, issue their own test, or have their own eligibility list. Individuals should contact the Human Resources department in the specific county to learn more about their eligibility requirements.
Eligibility Requirements for Probation and Parole Officer Careers in Minnesota
Individuals seeking probation and parole officer careers through the DOC, CCA, and CPO must possess a bachelor’s degree in one of the following areas in order to become certified in the state:
- Criminal Justice
- Social Work
Rule 25 Certification
Rule 25 certification allows probation and parole officers to conduct chemical dependency evaluations in the State of Minnesota. Many probation and parole officer positions require this certification for employment, even though many of the positions will not include conducting Rule 25 assessments.
Rule 25 training and certification is provided by Eden’s Group Training Center.
Probation Officer Training Requirements in Minnesota
During the first year of employment, probation and parole officers in Minnesota are required to complete at least 120 hours of training classes. Thereafter, they must complete at least 40 hours of training per year.