The Oklahoma Department of Corrections Community Corrections Division supervises Probation and Parole Officers working throughout the state. Probation and Parole Officer careers in Oklahoma are unique in that they involve providing social services and performing law enforcement duties. Oklahoma Probation and Parole Officer Jobs involve supervising those on probation, parole, or inmate reentry programs through the Oklahoma Department of Corrections.
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As of 2012, the Department of Community Corrections has authorized 374 probation and parole officer positions in Oklahoma, and 281 of them are filled. Probation and parole officer careers in Oklahoma may be based in any of the 60 field offices located across the state. They are divided into six districts: Southeast, Southwest, Northeast, Northwest, Central, and Tulsa County. There is also an Oklahoma County Community Corrections/Residential Service and District Office.
Education Necessary to Become a Probation and Parole Officer in Oklahoma
Before a candidate can become a probation and parole officer in Oklahoma through training, certain requirements must be met. For entry-level Oklahoma probation and parole officer jobs, candidates must have a bachelor’s degree, and must have completed at least 24 credit hours in any combination of these fields: sociology, psychology, social work, education, criminology, police science, penology or criminal justice administration. No experience is required for entry-level probation and parole officer jobs in Oklahoma.
Disqualifying Factors for Probation and Parole Officer Jobs in Oklahoma
Because of the law enforcement aspect of the Oklahoma probation and parole officer position, certain factors will disqualify an applicant from becoming a probation and parole officer in Oklahoma. Probation and parole officers in Oklahoma must qualify for peace officer status, which means that they must have no felony convictions, no sex offense convictions, no domestic violence convictions, and must pass physical, psychological and drug testing. All applicants also need a valid Oklahoma driver’s license in order to be hired as a probation and parole officer in Oklahoma.
Applications for open probation and parole officer jobs in Oklahoma must be submitted online through the Department of Corrections website.
Training for Probation and Parole Officers in Oklahoma
Once hired, probation and parole officers in Oklahoma must first complete law enforcement education in order to receive peace officer commission. The Council on Law Enforcement and Training, or CLEET, requires all students to pass a reading, writing and comprehension test with a score of 70 or better before entering the State of Oklahoma Law Enforcement Training Center in Ada. CLEET training will take a little more than three months to complete, and will instruct students in the basics of law enforcement including firearms, custody control, driving, and practical instruction.
All new probation and parole officers in Oklahoma must then complete specific training for the position. Training is divided into Part I and Part II. Part I exercises must be completed on the job within a new hire’s first sixty days of employment. They will consist of 40 hours of orientation, familiarizing new hires with agency rules, regulations and website. Part II takes place at the Oklahoma Correctional Training Academy in Oklahoma City. This instruction totals four weeks and includes coursework in risk/need assessment, substance abusing offenders, cognitive programs, mental health offenders, electronic monitoring, computer based supervision programs, transitional case planning, and field assignments.
Continuing Education for Probation and Parole Officers in Oklahoma
In order to maintain CLEET certification, probation and parole officers must complete 25 hours of CLEET-approved continuing education each year, including two hours on mental health. Additionally, the Department of Corrections requires completion of 40 hours of continuing education annually.