Probation and Parole Officer Career in Strafford County, New Hampshire

New Hampshire has one of the lowest crime rates in the country and had the lowest rate of murders of any state in 2009.  Because of this, New Hampshire had fewer people on probation than any other state in 2011.  At the end of this year, 4,121 individuals were on probation in the state.

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In New Hampshire, probation, parole matters, and supervised release are handled at the federal and the county level. The United States Probation and Pretrial Services Office handles the probation of individuals who have been charged with federal offenses.  It has two units—one for investigation and one for supervision.

Officers of the Supervision Unit oversee probation, parole supervision, and supervised release in New Hampshire.  Since they oversee both probation and parole, they are referred to as probation/parole officers.

Steps to Become a Probation and Parole Officer in Strafford County

Degree – The requirements to become a federal probation/parole officer in Strafford County, New Hampshire include having a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university or college in one of the following fields:

  • Business
  • Criminal justice
  • Criminology
  • Human relations
  • Psychology
  • Public administration
  • Sociology

Applications must also have a valid driver’s license and be younger than 37 at the time they start their jobs.

Probation and parole for crimes that are not federal offenses fall under the purview of the Field Services Division of the New Hampshire Department of Corrections.  Strafford County is the site of the 15 offices located in New Hampshire.  The Strafford County District Office is located in Dover.  To be hired as a probation/parole officer in Strafford County, a bachelor’s degree is required.

Academy Training – Newly hired officers undergo a great deal of training to learn how to become a probation/parole officer in Strafford County.  The first part of their training takes place under the tutelage of the New Hampshire Police Standards and Training Council located at the Arthur D. Kehas Criminal Justice Training Facility and Campus in Concord.  Probation/parole officers undergo 9 weeks of training at this facility, including learning how to use firearms.  They are not required to live on campus.

On-going Training – Additional training involves learning about legal topics such as searching people and arresting them.  After this, new probation/parole officers are trained in the field.  Once they are established in their careers, probation/parole officers are required to take part in forty hours of yearly training.  This includes:

  • Becoming re-qualified for the use of firearms
  • Using force and weapons safely
  • Using defensive tactics such as pepper spray
  • Training in first aid and CPR

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