As home to Columbus, the largest city in Ohio, Franklin County manages probation services for one of the largest community supervision populations in the state. The Franklin County Adult Probation Department provides supervision to more than 6,000 offenders within the community through a wide variety of monitoring and rehabilitative programs. The Franklin County Adult Probation Department also conducts many of the county’s pretrial services including investigations and offender reports.
About the Franklin County Probation System
Probation services are divided into basic supervision and Intensive Supervision. In 2013, there were 24 probation officers who monitored basic supervision offenders; these officers averaged a caseload of 163. Basic supervision includes minimum supervision, which generally requires low risk offenders to report in person or through the mail once every three months, and medium supervision, which require reports once a month. As of April 2013, there were 1,059 offenders on minimum supervision, with 2,410 on medium supervision.
At that time there were 1,463 offenders on maximum supervision, which includes those under Intensive Supervision and Intensive Specialized Supervision. Franklin County employs 16 Intensive Supervision Officers, with an average caseload of 50. In addition to these officers, there are also specialists that include:
- Criminal Gang Officers
- Interstate Compact Officers
- Chemical Dependency Officers
- Sex Offender Officers
- Violence Prevention Officers
- Mental Health Officers
How to Become a Probation Officer in Franklin County, Ohio
In order become a probation officer in the Franklin County Adult Probation Department, candidates must possess the following qualifications:
- Bachelor’s degree in psychology, sociology, social sciences or criminology
- Good written and oral communication skills
- Ability to operate computers
- Valid Ohio driver’s licenses
The Franklin County Adult Probation Department also prefers candidates with at least one year in probation, parole, community supervision, or clinical case management. Internships and trainee programs may be available through this department or other agencies that can fulfill this requirement.
Application Process for Qualified Probation Officer Candidates
The salary for a probation officer in this department starts at $44,888 so there is likely to be considerable competition for probation officer jobs in Franklin County. One of the most important competitive advantages for applicants is to obtain an advanced degree; a master’s degree may provide many benefits during the selection process, career progression and pace of promotion.
Applications should be submitted to the Human Resources department of the Franklin County Courts. Resumes, transcripts, employer recommendations and training records may also be submitted with the application. Candidates will be subjected to an intensive background investigation.
Training for New Hires
The Franklin County Adult Probation Department has developed its own training program in accordance with the standards developed by the Ohio Adult Probation Officer Training Committee. Newly hired adult probation officers must complete all the courses in the New Adult Probation Officer Training Catalog within 12 months of hiring. These courses include
- Overview of criminal justice system
- Due process
- Authority of probation officer
- Officer safety
- Written communication
- Search and seizure
- Assessment basics
Ohio also requires all probation officers to receive at least 20 hours of additional training annually.