Washington County Oregon is home to almost 530,000 residents, concentrated mostly in Hillsboro, Forest Grove and Beaverton. The Washington County Probation and Parole Division provides the probation and parole supervision services offered here. Officers in this agency are authorized to monitor and supervise both probationers and parolees. There are currently 49 officers, supervisors and counselors on staff to supervise almost 4,100 offenders per year.
What it Takes to Become a Probation and Parole Officer in Washington
To become a probation and parole officer in Washington County, candidates must have a high school diploma and at least four years of experience in:
- Social work
- Clinical treatment
- Criminal justice
- Human welfare
The most common educational background for probation and parole officer jobs in Washington County is a four-year degree in social work, criminal justice, psychology or a related field. The Washington County Probation and Parole Division offers four to eight internship positions annually that can provide valuable experience in offender supervision and serve as a springboard into the agency in a professional capacity. The agency also offers volunteer opportunities and counseling opportunities to graduate students who wish to gain unpaid clinical experience. References, signed confidentiality agreements and background checks are required for any of these positions.
Probation and parole officers must possess the following qualifications to obtain the required PPO license:
- Be at least 21 years of age
- Be a U.S. citizen
- Have knowledge of first aid and CPR
- No criminal convictions
Officers must attend the Department of Public Safety’s Basic Probation and Parole Officer training program as well as the Basic Parole and Probation Firearms training program. Following the first year, 80 hours of additional training is required to maintain peace officer certification.
Levels of Supervision and Programs Available through WCPPD
WCPPD offers three levels of supervision. Level I provides the most intensive supervision for high risk offenders which often involves regular office visits, random home visits, drug screening and mandatory participation in treatment programs. Level II is for low risk offenders and this requires only quarterly visits with probation and parole officers. The final level is called case bank supervision and does not require interactions with an officer, but offenders must comply with the terms of their probation or have it revoked.
The Mental Health Court is a specialized program that provides treatment and intensive monitoring of offenders who suffer from serious mental illness but remain non-violent. This program brings together mental health professionals, substance abuse counselors and community corrections officials to produce the most effective treatment program that will address offender needs and limit the risks of further criminal activity.
The Drug Court addresses the risks and needs of offenders who have serious chemical dependencies and have failed to find success through more traditional treatment programs. In order to ensure that participants maintain a chemically free lifestyle, participants must report to the judge weekly, enroll in a rigorous outpatient treatment program, have random and regular home visits and submit to testing.