Under North Carolina’s Justice Reinvestment Act of 2011, all felons who are released from prisons in the state must be supervised. The length of supervision depends upon the nature of the crime for which a felon was convicted. Adults who are on probation or parole in North Carolina must report to probation/parole officers working under the North Carolina Department of Public Safety Community Corrections Section.
There are more than 1400 certified probation/parole officers working throughout the state of North Carolina. As of April 2013, the state housed 100,506 probationers and 4832 parolees.
Experience and Education Required to Become a Probation/Parole Officer
in North Carolina
All North Carolina Probation and Parole Officer jobs require applicants to be U.S citizens, possess a valid North Carolina driver’s license, and have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university or college. This degree must be in one of the following areas:
- Criminal justice
- Social work
- Correctional services
- Human services
Candidates who have a human services degree is in education, divinity, health education, therapeutic education, special education political science, religion, sociology or social sciences, must submit a college transcript.
Candidates who are serious about learning how to become a probation or parole officer in North Carolina need a year of experience before being offered full time jobs. A combination of previous formal training and experience is accepted in lieu of a full year of job experience, and a master’s degree in social work or criminal justice may be substituted for experience.
For applicants with a degree but no experience, a job as a probation/parole officer trainee may be available with the North Carolina Department of Public Safety Community Corrections Section. This position would offer a lower salary than a certified probation/parole officer position.
Applying to Become a Probation/Parole Officer in North Carolina
For those who meet the educational requirements, the next step to becoming a probation/parole officer in North Carolina is to fill out a job application. This must be done online. Candidates may indicate on the application any county preferences, and must live within 30 miles of the county they’d like to work in. Instructions will be provided on how to forward college degrees to the North Carolina Department of Public Safety. Passing a Civil Service Exam is not required to become a probation/parole officer in North Carolina. However, before being hired, candidates must pass a drug screening test, psychological exam, physical exam, and background check.
Training for Probation/Parole Officers in North Carolina
Once hired, all probation/parole officers in North Carolina must complete 160 hours of basic, state-mandated training during the first year of employment. Classes will include:
- Probation/parole law
- Case, administrative and offender management
- Arrest, search, and seizure
- Interpersonal communications
- Officer-offender relations
- Drug identification
- Court preparation
- Radio communications
- Professional ethics and personal conduct
Candidates must pass tests in some of these areas before becoming certified as a probation/parole officer in North Carolina. Successful completion of this basic training will certify an individual as a probation/parole officer in North Carolina.
Continuing Education for Probation/Parole Officers in North Carolina
Once certified, a probation/parole officer in North Carolina must complete 44 hours of training each year in order to maintain certification.