Probation and Parole Officer Career in Marion County, Oregon

Marion County is the fifth most populous county in the state of Oregon and is the location of Salem, the state’s third largest city and state capitol. Parole and probation services are conducted through the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, Parole and Probation Division.  The supervising officers are designated as Parole and Probation Deputies.

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In January 2013, the PPD supervised 3,811 offenders in the community with almost 1,300 under limited supervision.  There were 26 parole and probation deputies with an average caseload of 65.  The PPD uses an evidence-based supervisory system that seeks to match offender needs with community resources.  Supervisory responsibilities are distributed throughout the county through geographic subdivisions.

How to Become a Probation and Parole Officer in Marion County, Oregon

Probation and parole deputies in Marion County must join the sheriff’s office as law enforcement officers.  This requires successfully passing the Oregon Physical Abilities Test, which includes:

  • 1,235 foot obstacle run
  • Push-pull machine
  • Dummy drag

If the candidate is approved, they will be asked to complete a series of exams and interviews to be approved for probation and parole officer jobs.  A background check will then be performed to ensure that candidates possess the moral character necessary to perform law enforcement duties.  Medical and psychological evaluations will be conducted, followed by an interview with the Sheriff.

Field Training and Evaluation Program

If hired, new parole and probation deputies must attend a two-week orientation followed by enrollment in the Field Training and Evaluation Program held at the State of Oregon Department of Public Safety Standards and Training basic academy.  This fourteen week program will include instruction in

  • Criminal law
  • Constitutional law
  • Defensive tactics
  • Arrest procedures
  • Firearms training
  • Testifying in court
  • Report writing

In addition to the FTEP program, new probation and parole deputies may also be required to complete the DPSST Parole and Probation officer basic training program.  Some courses in these programs including firearms and defensive tactics may overlap and be exempt.  Upon completion of these courses, graduates will be licensed as Oregon peace officers.  This licensing must be renewed annually through firearms re-qualification and at least 80 hours of additional training annually.

Probation and Parole Programs in Marion County

One of the most high profile programs the PPD manages is the Reentry Solutions Program that offers mentoring services for offenders leaving prisons and returning to Marion County.  Volunteers provide advice through a partnership that begins prior to release.  These mentors meet with offenders at least one hour a week to offer advocacy, emotional support and instruction on how to access community resources.

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In partnership with Chemeketa Community College and the Marion County Health Department, the Sheriff’s Office has developed the Student Opportunity for Achieving Results Services (SOAR), which pairs parolees or probationers with local employers who provide on the job training.  Community supervisors work with employers and participants to facilitate mutually beneficial relationships.  In addition to receiving $2,000 for training costs, employers also may qualify for the Work Opportunity Tax Credit, which provides $2,400 in tax credits.

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