Probation and Parole Officer Career in Davidson County, Tennessee

In addition to Tennessee’s second largest city – Nashville – the cities of Oak Hill, Belle Meade and Forest Hills make Davidson County an important location for probation and parole services.  The Division of Probation and Parole Field Services within the Tennessee Department of Corrections oversees community supervision in this area.

Davidson County was home to 11,140 parolees in 2008, many of whom were housed in the 55 halfway houses found in the region.  Of this number, almost 12.2 percent failed to successfully complete their parole and were re-incarcerated.

In an effort to limit recidivism, the DOC has partnered with The Next Door, a nonprofit that seeks to provide a variety of re-entry services to returning offenders.  These services include employment preparation, family reunification, substance abuse treatment, life skills, cognitive restructuring and victim relations. These services can be found through the Correctional Release Centers located in Davidson County.

Degree Requirements for Probation and Parole Officers in Davidson County

The minimum educational requirement for those interested in becoming probation and parole officers in Davidson County is a bachelor’s degree.  Although the Division of Probation and Parole Field Services doesn’t stipulate a specific concentration for these jobs, the most common degrees held by probation and parole officers continue to be:

  • Psychology
  • Social welfare
  • Legal studies
  • Criminal justice
  • Sociology

Strong applicants may also wish to gain some experience in supervising offenders through internships, traineeships or volunteer activities.

Police Officer Standards and Training Certification

New officers must obtain a Police Officer Standards and Training certification within six months of hiring. Officers must enroll in a six week Basic Law Enforcement Course which includes two weeks of training in firearms.  Academy entrants must meet these requirements

  • At least 18 years of age
  • U.S. citizenship
  • No felony convictions

Following graduation from law enforcement academy, new officers will receive rigorous supervision throughout the first year, which may include additional training and on-the-job instruction.  Following the first year, officers must obtain at least 40 hours of additional training and re-qualify with firearms.

Davidson County’s Probation and Parole Programs

The Tennessee Department of Corrections operates a highly honored electronic monitoring program which received Program of Excellence Award from the Satellite Tracking of People, LLC.  The Global Positioning Satellite tracking program monitors more than 880 offenders.  The award recognized the 15 percent increase in utilization while maintaining the number of tampering violations below 0.2 percent.  GPS tracking is used in the supervision of violent offenders, sex offenders and those designated by the courts.

Operation Blackout was launched in 2012 to limit interactions between sex offenders and children on Halloween night.  In Davidson County and throughout Tennessee, probation and parole officers made almost 1,300 visits to the homes of high-risk sex offenders, which resulted in 46 citations and two arrests.

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