South Dakota’s parole officers, also known as parole agents, are managed by the state’s Department of Corrections. Being the largest city in the state, Sioux Falls is home to the South Dakota State Penitentiary as well as the Jameson Annex located just outside the state prison. As of April, 2013 the prison population at these facilities totaled 1,542 inmates, most of whom may eventually be eligible for early release. From their downtown Sioux Falls office on Second Avenue, Parole officers work on the cases of these offenders, as well as interstate transfer parolees.
Sioux Falls is the city with the largest amount of parolees in the state, out of a total of 2,953 adults in the supervised parole system. In a recent year’s count there were nearly 400 perpetrations of violent crimes in the city, resulting in many eventual convictions as well as paroles. The fact that the State Penitentiary and Minnehaha County Jail are also in Sioux Falls adds to the relevance and need for parole officers in the city.
Education and Experience for Sioux Falls Parole Officers
Applicants for parole officer jobs in Sioux Falls should consider having a bachelor’s degree in any field such as social work, psychology, and criminal justice. It can also be advantageous if candidates have previous experience working in corrections, social support services, or a related occupation. Relevant working experience or education may give a candidate a comparable advantage.
Candidates who are interested in applying for parole officer positions need to be able to meet certain minimum qualifications, including the ability to:
- Make accurate documentation of pertinent information
- Have the mental and physical capacity of self-protection
- Work effectively in highly stressful situations
- Work with parolees on an objective, fair, and unbiased level
- Be able to obtain and legally carry a firearm, including the possession of a concealed weapons permit
Vacant Sioux Falls parole officer jobs are posted on the State’s recruitment website. Candidates can create an online profile and then apply for open positions when they become available. Applicants are screened by the South Dakota bureau of human resources and the State Board of Pardons and Paroles also has an influence on the hiring policy.
Training for Careers in Parole
After being hired, Sioux Falls parole recruits will undergo a training process that teaches them how to become competent and professional officers. Included in this is:
- Classroom education about South Dakota State law, codes, and jurisdiction
- Firearms training: each year thereafter officers will need to re-qualify with their firearms in an annual 40-hour course
- Arrest procedures, self-defense, and suspect apprehension
- Mental health issues related to parole officers and assigned parolees
- Record maintenance and report writing/presentation