In a recent year, warrant arrests in Aberdeen increased by 116 percent, beginning a process that has created a greater need for parole officers in the city. Parolees from South Dakota, as well as those from other states under interstate compact, are supervised and monitored on different degrees of severity in by Aberdeen’s parole officers.
Officers work out of the Aberdeen Parole Services Office located downtown on Lincoln Street. There are many parolees in Aberdeen due in most part to two factors:
- Aberdeen’s sizable population compared with other cities in the state
- The Brown County Jail is located in Aberdeen and is capable of housing at least 62 inmates
Parole officers work with the Aberdeen Police Department, Brown County Sheriff’s Department, and other state and federal law enforcement agencies and authorities to improve the methods for parolee supervision and improve the overall criminal justice system.
Statewide in 2013, 59 people were arrested for parole and suspended-sentence violations.
Education and Experience for a Successful Application
Coming from the right education or employment background can be beneficial for candidates during the application process. Although officially candidates are only required to have a high school diploma or GED, preference may be shown for applicants who have a bachelor’s degree in any field, such as psychology, social work, and criminal justice or have a comparable employment experience in areas such as counseling, treatment therapy, mental health issues, and law enforcement.
Candidates for parole jobs in Aberdeen should also have the ability to:
- Conduct background and character investigations of potential parolees including interviews with family members, employers, and other inmates
- Compile reports and assessments for presentation in court and to the South Dakota Department of Pardons and Paroles
- Develop and maintain working relationships with parolees to effectively ensure compliance with parole terms
Candidates can begin the application process by creating an online profile and resume with the South Dakota Bureau of Human Resources. Applications are filled out and submitted online, and are only accepted when there is a vacancy for Aberdeen parole agents. Available jobs are posted on the State’s employment webpage.
Getting Hired and Trained
After making it through the application process, which includes an oral interview, background check, drugs test, medical exam, and psychological evaluation, newly hired recruits will complete a training process that teaches them how to become fully capable and qualified parole officers through a program that includes:
- Suspect arrest procedures and techniques
- Subject apprehension and control
- Use of non-lethal force and self-defense
- Firearms training that must be renewed in a 40-hour class on a yearly basis
- State and local laws, policies, and procedures
- Instruction in community resources available parolees