Burleigh County is the second most populous county in the state of North Dakota and is home to the second largest city, Bismarck. In North Dakota, the ND Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation administers community supervision through the Division of Parole and Probation. There are 88 officers authorized to conduct both parole and probation services through 15 district offices. The district office for Burleigh County is found in Bismarck and includes 18 staff plus a supervisor. The staff includes two sexual offender specialists, a drug court officer and a special investigator.
In addition to supervising offenders in the community, PPOs also provide critical pretrial services. Officers conduct investigations into criminal history, mental health, substance abuse, and social standing to determine if defendants are candidates for pretrial release. These services also include reports and recommendations regarding sentencing; PPOs may significantly influence the judicial decision in many state district courts to sentence offenders to community supervision rather than incarceration.
The community supervision process begins with assessment of the offender though Levels of Service Inventory-Revised (LSI-R). This identifies risks and needs and helps generate a customized plan for treatment, monitoring and rehabilitation. PPOs often collaborate closely with correctional counselors to gain insights into parolees and implement effective transitions that may include continuation of counseling or other remediation processes.
How to Become a Probation and Parole Officer in Burleigh County
The minimum educational requirement for those interested in finding out how to become a Parole and Probation Officer in Burleigh County is a bachelor’s degree in a behavioral science. Candidates who desire a competitive advantage during the hiring process may even consider a master’s degree or other advanced academic credentials.
Parole and probation officers in North Dakota are commissioned peace officers and must receive certification through the ND Peace Officers and Training Board. The requirements for this certification include:
- Be a U.S. citizen
- High school diploma or GED
- No felony, domestic violence, or moral turpitude crime convictions
- Possess a valid driver’s license
- Ability to legally possess and use a firearms
- Ability to pass a background check
- Ability to pass a medical and psychological evaluation
Training to Become a Probation and Parole Officer in Burleigh County
An application must be submitted to the ND Peace Officers and Training Board, which will determine if all of the requirements are fulfilled. The candidate will then be provided with a limited peace officer license. The officer must then attend the first available training course at the Law Enforcement Training Academy in Bismarck. The trainee must complete the 440 hour training program which includes courses in
- CPR and first aid
- Fundamentals of law enforcement
- Investigative techniques
- Criminal justice
- Use of firearms
Following completion of the basic training program, the officer will receive certification as a North Dakota Peace Officer. This certification must be renewed every three years. After the first year, officers must attend 60 hours of training every three years to re-qualify with a firearm.