Parole Officer Careers in Austin, Texas

In 2011, there were 4,830 residents of Travis County in state prisons and 2,769 offenders were released into Travis County.  The number of parolees totaled 1,276, while 1,253 were offenders who had completed their sentences and no longer qualified for supervision.  There were also 240 offenders who were monitored through Community Supervision.  Of the total number of offenders in the community, 123 were re-incarcerated for a new crime or parole violation.

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The Super Intensive Supervision Program is utilized to monitor offenders who present a high risk of committing sex offenses or violent crimes.  SISP requires that parolees wear an electronic ankle bracelet and report all movements ahead of time.  Parolees who commit even minor infractions may have their parole revoked and returned to prison.  Although this program does provide significant public safety benefits, the number of enrollees is limited due to the time required to monitor each parolees.  Parole officers in Austin who monitor SISP parolees are limited to 15 to 20 cases, while the average caseload is around 75.

Located in Travis County, Austin is the center of a metropolitan area that encompasses 1.78 million residents.  The Parole Division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice supervises parolees and community supervisees located in Austin and the surrounding area.  The headquarters of the Parole Division is located in Austin.

How to Become a Parole Officer in Austin, Texas

Entry-level parole officer jobs in Austin are available under one of two titles:

  • Institutional Parole Officer (IPO)
  • District Parole Officer (DPO)

IPOs generally perform their duties in conjunction with a detention facility, which includes interviewing convicts prior to a parole hearing.  DPOs are field officers who monitor and supervise offenders after release.

Basic Requirements and Education – In order to serve in either of these roles, applicants interested in learning how to become parole officers in Austin must meet the following minimum requirements:

  • Possess a valid state driver’s license
  • Possess U.S. citizenship
  • Be 18 years of age or older
  • Hold a bachelor’s degree, with preference given to those who has significant coursework in
    • Social work
    • Sociology
    • Psychology
    • Counseling
    • Criminal justice
  • No domestic violence or felony convictions

There is usually stiff competition for parole officer jobs in Austin, so applicants should strongly consider bolstering their job prospects by completing a post-graduate degree program.  A master’s or doctor’s degree may significantly enhance the likelihood of hiring and promotion.  Prior experience in counseling and community supervision is also helpful and may be acquired through paid employment, internships or volunteering.

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Parole Officer Training Academy in Beeville – Upon hiring, new officers must attend a six week training program at the Parole Officer Training Academy in Beeville.   Following graduation, new hires must complete the certification course for policy and procedures regarding the Texas Law Enforcement Telecommunications System within six months. After the first year, parole officers must obtain at least 20 hours of training per year.

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