With a population of only 1,050,788, Rhode Island is the smallest state in the U.S. The department of probation and parole is under the jurisdiction of the Rhode Island Department of Corrections and part of the Division of Rehabilitative Services.
The probation/parole administrative office is in the state capital of Providence and there are regional offices in Cranston, Newport, Pawtucket, Wakefield (Washington County), West Warwick (Kent County) and Woonsocket. As of July, 2010, there were 76 probation & parole officer jobs in Rhode Island.
The Job of Probation/Parole Officer in Rhode Island
Probation is community supervision in lieu of incarceration and involves certain conditions imposed by the court for a specific period of time. On the other hand, parole allows prisoners to return to their communities under strict conditions after serving part of their sentence. Probation/parole officers supervise the activities of probationers/parolees, monitor their compliance with the court-imposed conditions and help to integrate offenders successfully into the community by acquainting them with available services related to employment, drug/substance abuse, anger management, etc.
Probation/Parole officers are assigned to specific geographic locations so that they have the best possible knowledge of that area’s community life and services. However, some probation/parole officers are assigned to the specialized supervision of mentally ill offenders or those convicted of specific crimes like domestic violence or sexual assault.
Qualifications for Becoming a Probation Officer in Rhode Island
Applications from those interested in how to become probation/parole officers in Rhode Island will only be accepted from those who meet the following requirements:
- Between the ages of 21 and 37
- Valid driver’s license
- Bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, social work, psychology, sociology, criminology, human relations, business or public administration
- Physically able to do field work (officers make home and workplace visits to evaluate the offender’s adjustment at home and in the community)
- Pass the state training course for certification as a probation/parole officer. Contact the Rhode Island Department of Corrections for specific information about the place/time of classes and testing.
How to Apply for the Position of Probation/Parole Officer in Rhode Island
A list of open jobs and an application form can be found on the Department of Corrections website. Information and application forms can also be obtained from the Department of Corrections, Office of Human Resources, 39 Howard Avenue, Cranston RI 02920; tel.: 401/462-3250.
The Department of probation and parole welcomes volunteers and student interns and individuals who have taken advantage of these opportunities may be given preferential treatment for employment as long as they meet the standard requirements. The Department of Corrections is an equal opportunity employer.
Persons whose applications are accepted will be scheduled for a personal interview, physical examination, drug testing and criminal background check before being hired. The average salary of a probation/parole officer in Rhode Island is $45,000 a year.
Collaborative Efforts of Rhode Island’s Department of Probation and Parole
In recent years there has been an emphasis on collaboration between probation/parole officers and members of the local police departments. These efforts focus on:
- Information sharing about such things as gang activities.
- Speciali8zed enforcement aimed at specifics like firearms violations.
- Enhanced supervision of individuals deemed “high risk.”
- Participation in the Rhode Island Sex Offender Management Task Force.