The Adult Parole Authority, a division of the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, conducts the supervision of parolees in Columbus and the surrounding areas. There are 11 parole units assigned to the Columbus Region with seven units assigned to the Columbus regional office, and a single unit assigned to the county offices in Portsmouth, Hocking, Washington, and Athens.
The Columbus region encompasses areas of Franklin, Delaware and Fairfield counties. Franklin County reported 1,814 parolees under supervision in 2011, of which 70 percent successfully completed their parole. There are currently 34 parole officers working in Franklin County in addition to 5 senior parole officers and six supervisors. Delaware County reported 144 total parolees with a 25 percent recidivism rate. The 253 parolees under supervision in Fairfield showed an 86 percent completion rate.
Parole officers in the Columbus region typically supervise about 75 cases. These supervisees may be parolees, probationers (assigned by the Court of Common Pleas), transitional control releases, post release offenders, or community control cases. Transitional control offenders are inmates who released early from prison and are monitored using electronic devices. Prior convicts who have completed their sentence but merit some type of community supervision are labeled as post release. Community control cases are similar to felony probationers whom the court has sentenced to supervision for periods up to five years.
Parole Officer Job Requirements in Columbus
Applicants to parole officer jobs in the Columbus, Ohio Adult Parole Authority must meet these qualifications:
- Ability to carry and use firearms (no past felony convictions)
- Have a valid driver’s license
- Ability to complete parole officer orientation school
- Ability to pass the civil service exam for parole officers
The education and experience required to become a parole officer in Columbus include:
- Bachelor’s degree; or
- Associate’s degree in addition to two years of experience in one of these fields:
- Law enforcement
- Criminal justice
- Social services
Prior to submitting an application, candidates must complete the parole officer assessment process. Applicants must submit their fingerprints for a BCI and FBI records check, and pass a 25-question exam. Scores for this exam may be submitted within 12 months along with an application.
Training and Certification to Become a Parole Officer in Columbus
Upon hiring, new officers must complete a three-week training program administered by the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction through the parole officer orientation school. Trainees will receive instruction in lethal and non-lethal defensive tactics.
Certifications for each of these skills must be maintained through regular recertification. Firearms competencies must be demonstrated annually in order to maintain accreditation. Each year, parole officers are required to receive at least 40 hours of additional on-going training.
After completion of the training program, new officers must serve for a probationary period of one year before receiving full parole officer status.