The New York State Division of Parole administers parolee supervision services in Erie County. Along with the major city of Buffalo, Erie County is home to Lackawanna, Sardinia and Concord, which contribute to making Erie County the fourth largest in the state of New York, outside of the metropolitan New York City area.
The Erie County government in partnership with the Division of Parole, public agencies, religious groups and community organizations formed the Erie County Reentry Task Force, which assists parolees in rehabilitation. Offering a wide variety of services including shelter, clothing, food, mentoring, and job training, the Erie County Reentry Task Force has made it a priority to assist parolees in the most critical 72 hours immediately after release and throughout the rehabilitative process. Among the many organizations providing assistance are:
- Catholic Charities
- Restoration Society Inc.
- Horizon Health Services
- Family Addiction Outpatient Services
Erie County parolees also have access to a specialized reentry program for men. This program provides transitional dorms for parolees following release for periods of 90 to 120 days. During their stay parolees receive treatment, counseling and advice from community and faith-based organizations. The two units include 60 beds at the men’s medium security facility in Albion. Special emphasis is placed on sobriety strategies for the almost 80 percent of offenders who have substance abuse problems.
How to Become a Parole Officer in Erie County, New York
In order to become a parole officer with the New York State Division of Parole in Erie County, applicants should have the following qualifications:
- U.S. citizenship
- New York residency
- Valid New York driver’s license
- Be 21 years of age
- Pass a civil service exam
- Ability to complete the basic training program
- Bachelor’s degree with a concentration in one of these subjects
- Social work
- Criminal justices
- American cultural studies
While the minimum educational requirement is only a four year degree, it is wise to consider a graduate degree like a Master of Social Work. An advanced degree may provide competitive advantages during the application process and promotion.
Hugh T. Farley Law Enforcement Training Academy
Upon being hired, new officers must enroll in the Basic Course for Police Officers at the Senator Hugh T. Farley Law Enforcement Training Academy. This eight week training program combines a rigorous physical fitness regimen with intensive classroom in a wide variety of parole and law enforcement topics including:
- Multicultural awareness
- Case management
- Penal law
- Criminal procedure law
- Investigative techniques
- Firearms training
Upon graduation, recruits must qualify in firearms use in order to obtain a commission as a public officer. New recruits must also complete two weeks of evaluation through the Field Training Program, which is conducted by Senior Parole Officers. After the first year, parole officers must re-qualify with their firearms and receive 40 hours of training each year, in order to maintain their public officer accreditation.