In addition to the county seat of New Brunswick, other major cities like Edison, Jamesburg and South River contribute to making parole services vital to Middlesex County, New Jersey. State parole officers who operate under the jurisdiction of the New Jersey State Parole Board conduct parolee supervision in Middlesex County.
In Middlesex County, offenders may be released from state prison or from county detention facilities into parolee supervision. County detainees must be incarcerated for at least 60 days to qualify under parole jurisdiction, but the deciding authority is the sentencing court rather than the Parole Board.
Once an offender has been approved for parole, it is usually the responsibility of the parole officer to assist the offender contact community resources for treatment, counseling, vocational training, employment or securing a residence. Within Middlesex County, some of the most important public and private agencies are
- Middlesex Department of Human Services
- Hyacinth AIDS Foundation
- Triple S Detoxification Center
- Middlesex County Apprenticeship Programs
- New Jersey Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services
Steps to Become a Parole Officer in Middlesex County, New Jersey
Exam – The first step in applying for a parole officer job Middlesex County is to take the civil service exam for this position. Unfortunately, New Jersey does not offer this civil service exam often; it schedules exams every three years but may not include the parole officer exam every cycle.
Requirements – In order to join the New Jersey Parole Board as a Parole Officer Recruit, applicants must possess the following qualifications:
- Possess a bachelor’s degree
- Be at least 18 years old
- Be a U.S. citizen
- Ability to obtain POST certification
Degree – While only a bachelor’s degree is required to join, many candidates will optimize their chances of obtaining a parole officer recruit position by acquiring a master’s degree or other advanced degree as well as gain some experience in offender supervision.
Training – Police Officer Standards and Training (POST) certification follows a 24 week course at the law enforcement training academy. Parole officers must successfully complete the training program and qualify with firearms. Each year, officers must receive 40 additional hours of training and re-qualify with firearms to maintain this certification.
Parole Eligibility in Middlesex County
Prior to the release of an offender, the parole officer must conduct an investigation into the offender’s history and make a recommendation to the parole board. Among the factors considered are:
- Nature of crime
- Prior convictions
- Behavior during incarceration
- Likelihood of recidivism
- Participation in self-improvement programs while incarcerated
- Availability of community resources necessary to stabilize or rehabilitate offender
- Employment history and potential for return to work
- Victim opinion
- Risk assessment instrument results
Parole officers must often interview a wide variety of social contacts that the offender has interacted with prior to making a recommendation for parole.