The New York State Division of Parole is responsible for the supervision of parolees within New York City’s five boroughs. In 2011, the number of parolees for the four most populous boroughs was as follows:
Almost 62 percent of all parolees within New York State are supervised within the five boroughs and Long Island.
Within New York City, the Division of Parole’s Re-Entry Services Unit has worked to assist parolees find affordable housing, participate in treatment programs, obtain job skills and find jobs. These efforts have led to one of the lowest felony conviction rates of parolees in the past decade. Since 2001, the felony conviction rate has dropped sharply by 40 percent.
In 2001, the Division of Parole partnered with the New York City Department of Corrections and the private corrections organization CASES to establish the Parole Restoration Project (RPR). In recognition of the fact that too many parolees were detained for technical parole violations, the Parole Restoration Project was implemented to help parolees with special needs like addiction, mental illness or child custody find appropriate community services. PRP works with organizations like Narco Freedom, Realization Center and Upper Manhattan Mental Health Center to facilitate assistance to parolees.
What it Takes to Become a Parole Officer in New York City
Candidates must meet the following minimum requirements to become New York City parole officers and join the New York State Division of Parole:
- Be a U.S. citizen
- At least 21 years of age
- Be a New York resident
- Possess a valid New York driver’s license
- Pass a civil service exam
- Ability to complete the eight week training program
The civil service exams for candidates vying for New York City parole officer jobs are usually scheduled every four years, but this is based on position availability, so the time between exams could potentially be longer.
There are two entry-level positions within the Division of Parole:
- Parole Officer Trainee: Applicants for this position must have a law degree or a bachelor’s degree in one of the following areas:
- Social work
- Ethnic studies
- Parole Officer: Applicants for this position must have a bachelor’s degree and three years of experience as:
- Social worker
- Correctional officer
- Law enforcement official
- Human welfare professional
The starting salary for a parole officer trainee is $34,260 while the starting salary for a parole officer is $52,643. These competitive salaries are likely to inspire significant competition, so prospective parole officers are encouraged to strengthen their applications through advanced degrees like master’s or doctor’s degrees.
The Farley Regional Law Enforcement Training Academy
Following hiring, new recruits must complete the basic parole officer training program held at the Farley Regional Law Enforcement Training Academy. Following this eight week course of study, recruits must complete a two week Field Training Program under the supervision of Senior Parole Officers. Officers must maintain their certification as public officers by re-qualifying with the firearms annually and obtaining at least 40 hours of additional training annually.