With almost 22 percent of the state’s population, Cass County is the most populous county in North Dakota. Cass is also home to the state’s largest city, Fargo. In the state of North Dakota, parole and probation supervision is managed through a single agency the ND Division of Parole and Probation within the North Dakota Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. The parole duties play a minor role in most districts due to the extremely low number of parolees in the state. Throughout North Dakota, there are only 431 parolees while there are 4,586 probationers in 2012. The DPP currently supports 88 officers working out of 15 district offices.
What to Expect from a Probation and Parole Officer Career in Cass County
The probation and parole office in Fargo is one of the largest in the state with 23 staffers and a supervisor. Included in this are two Drug Court Officers, Sex Offender Program manager, Reentry Specialist, two Sex Offender Specialists, and a Drug Court and Reentry program manager.
Fargo PPOs also administer several programs related to parole and probation. The GPS Offender Tracking program uses electronic devices that track the location of high risk sexual offenders and violent supervisees. PPOs monitor the location of parolees through an internet based application that receives tracking data updated every minute.
Halfway houses are also utilized by PPOs to house parolees who are re-entering society as well as probationers who are unable to find residency. The structured environment of halfway houses offers employment assistance, chemical dependency treatment, vocational training, cognitive restructuring, and living skills.
Meeting the Requirements to Become a Probation and Parole Officer in Cass County
The ND Division of Parole and Probation offers a PPO I, PPO II and PPO III jobs. The Parole & Probation Officer I requires:
- Bachelor’s degree in a behavioral science
- License as a North Dakota Peace Officer
- Ability to complete the ND Peace Officers and Training Program
PPO II adds the requirement of at least three years’ experience in supervising parolees, probationers or offenders in a social work, corrections or law enforcement setting. PPO III jobs require at least five years of offender supervision with two of those years performing duties similar to a PPO I or PPO II. The salaries for these jobs in 2013 are:
- Parole & Probation Officer I: $38,239-$63,731
- Parole & Probation Officer II: $45,423-$75,705
- Parole & Probation Officer III: $49,749-$82,915
Due to the lucrative compensation that parole and probation officers receive and the relatively few job openings the competition for probation and parole officer jobs in Cass County may be quite intense. Candidates with advanced degrees like a Master of Social Work are likely to experience competitive advantages as they look to become probation and parole officers in Cass County.
PPOs must attend the Law Enforcement Training Academy in order to receive certification as a ND peace officer. A physical fitness test may be administered prior to entry, which may include
- 1.5 mile run
- Sit ups
- Push ups
- Sit and reach