Along with Columbia, other major cities in Richland County such as Cayce, Forest Acres and Arcadia Lakes contribute to making this the second most populous county in South Carolina. The South Carolina Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services supervised probationers and parolees in Richland County through the efforts of its field officers, who are referred to in South Carolina as probation and parole “agents.”
In 2012, probation and parole agents supervised a total of 1,083 offenders, which included 788 probationers, 213 parolees, and 82 juveniles. Of this offender population, 157 were under supervision for violent offenses, while 926 cases involved non-violent crimes. Eighty-one percent of these offenders were on standard supervision, 13 percent were on high-level supervision, four percent were on Intensive Supervision and three percent were under Sex Offender Supervision.
In 2012, Richland County experienced a 65 percent success rate among its offender population with 711 successfully completing their parole, probation or community supervision.
How to Become a Probation and Parole Officer in Richland County, South Carolina
Degree and Other Requirements – Applicants for Richland County probation and parole agent jobs should have a minimum of a baccalaureate degree, while many of the most competitive applicants will possess an advanced degree that provides specialized expertise in human behavior, criminal justice, or social services. Additionally, candidates interested in learning how to become probation and parole officers in Richland County should also have the following qualifications:
- Be at least 21 years of age
- Have a birth certificate
- Ability to pass a background investigation
- Possess a valid South Carolina driver’s license
- Willingness to disclose financial history
Basic Law Enforcement Training Program – In order to serve as a probation and parole agent in Richland County, new officers must complete the Basic Law Enforcement Training Program administered by the Criminal Justice Academy. This sixteen-week program includes an intense physical fitness component as well as instruction in the following topics:
- Firearms training
- Criminal law
- Constitutional law
- Arrest and control techniques
- Investigative techniques
- CPR and first aid
- Criminal evidence
DPPPS Training Program – Following graduation from BLETP, officers will be commissioned as peace officers. New agents must also complete the DPPPS training program, which will include additional instruction in
- Use of a .40 caliber Glock
- Arrest scenarios
- Defensive driving
In order to maintain peace officer status, officers must re-qualify with a firearm annually.
Effective Probation and Parole Programs in Richland County
Among the many supervision programs that the DPPPS manages is the Supervised Furlough II-A Program. This early release program monitors the activities of inmates who qualify for release at least six months prior to the formal end of their incarceration period. Most of these offenders will be required to wear an electronic tracking devise and submit to a rigorous set of furlough provisions.
The Sex Offender Program uses enhanced electronic monitoring with GPS tracking, polygraphs and a standard treatment model in the supervision of sex offenders. A dedicated tracking center, the GPS Operations Center was founded in 2007 to monitor the locations of sex offenders. Any violations initiate a set of departmental procedures that determine the type and intensity of a response.