Wake County, North Carolina is the second most populous county in the state and home to the state’s second largest city by population Raleigh. With almost 901,000 residents found primarily in the cities of Raleigh, Durham, Wake Forest and Chapel Hill, Wake County is also home to one of the largest probationer and parolee populations in the state. Officers in North Carolina are empowered with parole and probation responsibilities and fall under the administration of the North Carolina Department of Corrections, which employs 2,036 certified officers in 273 field offices. North Carolina is divided into four judicial districts for community corrections, with Wake County found in the Second Judicial District.
What to Expect from a Wake County Probation Officer Career
Wake County is designated as District 10 in Division 2 of the Community Corrections Department. There are 102 probation and parole officers in this district with an average caseload of 57. The total number of parolees and probationers in this district in 2012 was 5,784, with 26, 073 offenders in all of Division 2.
In addition to monitoring supervisees through surveillance, random visits and electronic monitoring, PPOs also utilize an array of social programs to treat and rehabilitate returning offenders. These programs include the DART-Cherry Program, which is a three-month residential treatment system which remediates drug and alcohol abuse, psychological issues, family and social relationships and employment. This intensive program assesses participants for needs and risks and develops a personalized treatment plan that is then implemented while they are in residence. A follow-up plan is also developed for post-program reentry.
How to Become a Probation and Parole Officer in Wake County, North Carolina
In order to apply to the NC Department of Public Safety, applicants must possess a bachelor’s degree in one of the following areas:
- Correctional services
- Social work
- Criminal justice
- Human services
Applicants must also possess at least one year of experience in parole or probation supervision. Candidates with a master’s degree in a relevant field of study may be able to substitute it for professional experience. In some cases, the probation or parole field experience may be acquired through internships or volunteer work. The salary range for this job in 2013 is $37,125 to $42,000 annually.
Applications should be submitted to the NC Department of Public Safety along with resumes, transcripts and Veteran’s Preference documentation.
North Carolina mandates that all probation and parole officers meet the requirements for state certification, which includes:
- U.S. citizenship
- At least 20 years of age
- Good moral character
Training for Probation Officers in Wake County
Following hiring, new officers must complete the Probation/Parole Officer Basic Training Program that involves 217 hours of instruction through five weeks. This will include courses topics on
- Probation/Parole law
- Understanding offender behavior
- Public speaking
- Case management
- Interstate Compact
Included is a training course on firearms, but trainees must obtain qualification scores with a handgun and pass an examination following the basic training program to receive certification.