In New Mexico, officers of the Corrections Department supervise both people on probation and those on parole. As of January 2013, over 11,500 people were on probation in New Mexico, while 1,162 people were on parole in the state. In 2007, there were 280 probation/parole officers working in New Mexico.
The Department of Corrections has five regions for adult probation and parole in New Mexico. All of Region II is devoted to the Albuquerque metropolitan area. At least 73 employees work in probation and parole in the Albuquerque area. These probation/parole officers assess the risk that each offender poses and develops a case plan to manage their cases and help to integrate back into society.
Education and Training for Probation and Parole Officer Careers in Albuquerque
A bachelor’s degree is required to apply for probation/parole jobs in Albuquerque. Either a major or 15 supplemental semester hours is required in one of the following areas:
- Guidance and counseling
- Police science
Additional requirements include being a citizen of the U.S., not having any felony convictions, and having a home phone. Applicants will undergo a background check and be tested for drug use.
Newly hired corrections employees attend the Training Academy of the department and undergo a great deal of training to learn how to become a probation/parole officer in Albuquerque. In addition to learning about risk assessment and case management, new officers must complete courses in first aid, CPR, and defensive tactics.
Selected probation/parole officers are assigned full time to work with local law enforcement to address offenders who have violated their probation. They are part of Community Response Teams. These Intensive Community Policing officers receive additional training in the use of firearms and in liability.
Level I and II Probation and Parole Officers in Albuquerque
The probation/parole jobs in Albuquerque are broken down into two categories. Level 1 is the starting category for new probation/parole officers, while experienced officers who supervise high risk offenders and may need to carry a firearm are designated Level 2 probation/parole officers.
Albuquerque probation and parole services offer standard supervision for low risk offenders and a number of Special Programs. In addition, there are specialty positions such as the:
- Court Liaison Officer
- Metropolitan Detention Center Officer
- Roaming Probation/Parole Officer
One of the special programs that started in the Albuquerque region as a pilot in 2008 is the gender specific program. It addresses the unique needs of women who have mental health and/or substance abuse problems.
Probation/parole officers have caseloads specific to this program. There are two tracks: one for general treatment and one for addressing women who are parents. The program has proven highly successful and was expanded to the rest of the state.
Other Programs and Duties
High risk probation/parole officers work for the Intensive Supervision Unit that closely monitors high risk offenders while requiring that they get intensive treatment and counseling. Part of the function of this unit includes supervising gang members that are higher-ranking. There is also a dedicated Sex Offender Unit.
The Drug Court is part of this region also and supervises offenders with first time drug violations in hopes of reducing the chances that the people being supervised will reoffend.
The round the clock Response Center is also located in the Albuquerque region. Both probation/parole supervisors and officers staff the center. This service is provided to law enforcement officials, offenders, victims, and the general public.