Watertown parole officers work with the local police department, the Codington County Sheriff’s Department, and other state and federal authorities to help ensure a comprehensive and successful transition of inmates from prisoners to parolees.
Officers are based out of the Watertown Parole Office on Ninth Avenue, where they manage caseloads of parolees living in the city from different parts of the state, those freshly released from the Codington County Detention Center, and those who have recently moved from other states to the local municipality on interstate parole compacts.
Education for Watertown Parole Officers
A high school diploma or GED is the primary education requirement for parole officer jobs across the State of South Dakota. However, because officers deal with people from a wide variety of backgrounds and mental states, it is preferred that candidates have a bachelor’s degree in any subject, including psychology, social work, and criminal justice. It can also be helpful if a candidate has work experience in a related field such as case work, addiction treatment, counseling, criminal justice, or law enforcement.
Requirements for Careers in Watertown Parole
As with similar public service jobs in law enforcement, it takes a special person to have the motivation and ideological commitment to become a parole officer. Candidates need to possess a specific skills set and also meet certain defined minimum requirements, including:
- Having no felony convictions
- A valid driver’s license
- Possess excellent English grammar, spelling, and punctuation skills and the ability to author and compile reports
- Being able to make strong interpersonal connections and employ effective counseling techniques
- Awareness of the procedures, methods, and principles of facilitating a successful adjustment and reintegration into the local community
- Keeping an objective opinion while working with parolees
Candidates interested in learning how to become a parole officer in Watertown can begin the application process by creating an online account with the South Dakota bureau of human resources. The next step is to monitor the State’s employment webpage for any Watertown parole agent vacancies; applications are only accepted when there is an opening.
After filling out a full and complete application, successful candidates will receive information about when and where to report for an interview, to be followed by a thorough background investigation, criminal history check, medical examination, and drug test. Candidates who navigate the application process and are hired as parole officers will continue with appropriate training.
Parole Officer Training
After being hired into their new careers, Watertown parole trainees will receive education to make them fully functional and ready parole officers. Training includes:
- South Dakota law, regulation, and procedures
- Suspect detention, arrest, and apprehension
- Use of non-lethal force such as pepper spray and tear gas
- Firearms training, with officers requiring 40 hours of recertification courses for every additional year of employment
- Courtroom etiquette
- Self-defense and tactics