Probation Officer Careers in Ohio

Ohio probation officer jobs are regulated at the local level, by counties and municipalities throughout the state. The dedicated men and women with probation officer careers in Ohio are responsible for supervision and monitoring of probationers in what is called “community control.” They serve at the county court, court of common pleas, and municipal court levels.

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According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), as of May 2012 there were 2540 probation officers and correctional treatment specialist working across the state of Ohio. The majority of probation officers in Ohio worked in the Cleveland area, followed by the Columbus area and Cincinnati area.

Basic Requirements to Become a Probation Officer in Ohio

A valid driver’s license and good driving record is essential for those who wish to be considered for Ohio probation officer jobs. Before learning how to become a probation officer in Ohio, applicants should first have a bachelor’s degree. In lieu of a degree, applicants can prove that they have equivalent relevant experience in law enforcement to be eligible for probation officer jobs in Ohio.

Each county has its own hiring requirements, which may include being fluent in a foreign language or experience requirements. It is only through the proper training that an applicant will be able to fully understand the range of duties and responsibilities of a probation officer in Ohio.

Applying to Become a Probation Officer in Ohio

There are 95 probation departments at the county and municipal levels across the state of Ohio, each with its own hiring and application process. Those interested in Ohio probation officer jobs should inquire at the county or municipal probation department of their county/municipality of choice. Links to these courts may be found here.

Training for Probation Officers in Ohio

Probation officer standards in Ohio were updated in 2011 to mandate training and continuing education for all probation officers statewide. Probation officers in Ohio hired after January 1, 2014 must complete all new probation officer training courses within 12 months of their date of hire. After completion of all training courses, new probation officers in Ohio must pass a training evaluation with a score of at least 80 percent. Courses contained within the new probation officer training catalog include:

  • Criminal justice system/courts:
    • Ethics
    • Due process/court functions
    • Court roles/probation officer authority
    • Criminal justice system overview
  • Probation officer profession basics:
    • Drug identification/testing
    • Search and seizure
    • Special populations
    • Basics of courtroom presentation
    • Automated data systems
    • Professional written communication
    • Probation officer safety
  • Evidence-based practices:
    • Offender skill building
    • Behavioral management
    • Probation officer communication skills
    • Case planning and supervision
    • Assessment basics
    • Principles of effective interventions

Additionally, if an Ohio probation officer’s duties require them to complete offender risk assessments (ORAS), these officers must complete ORAS training within the first year of employment.

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At the conclusion of these training courses, new probation officers will receive an electronic certificate of completion. This certificate will be kept by the local probation department in the employee’s file.

Continuing Education for Probation Officers in Ohio

As of January 1, 2014, all probation officers in Ohio must complete 20 hours of continuing education yearly. Courses must be in a relevant area, including risk reduction, operations of probation officers, and criminal justice/courts. These courses may be computer-based, classroom-based, seminars, audio-visual or multimedia-based. They will be tracked by local probation departments.

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