Parole officers in Corpus Christi are under the authority of the Parole Division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. The starting salary for Institutional and District Parole Officers is $34,572, but after a mandatory promotion at 24 months, this rises to $36,636. The highest level of the payroll scale for Parole Officer V is an annual salary of $55,557. This profession also presents many opportunities for those seeking a job; the Texas Workforce Commission has predicted that the number of jobs will increase 30.4 percent between 2010 and 2020.
Parole officers supervised 731 parolees and 225 community supervisees released into Nueces County in 2011. Another 516 offenders were also released from state jails and prisons but were not supervised because they had completed their sentences. Of this total 1,472, there were 121 who were eventually re-incarcerated for a technical violation or commission of a new crime.
Training to Become a Parole Officer in Corpus Christi, Texas
To be eligible for training, Candidates for parole officer jobs in Corpus Christi must be at least 18 years old and must hold a bachelor’s degree, preferably with significant coursework in sociology, counseling, psychology and/or criminal justice.
New parole officers in Corpus Christi must attend a six-week training program at the Parole Officer Training Academy. This comprehensive program will provide an introduction to the principles involved in parole supervision. In recent years this curriculum has come under criticism for failing to provide firearms training. The Texas Department of Criminal Justice has implemented a system that allows parole officers to obtain firearms training if formally requested. Officers must pass a psychological evaluation prior to request approval. Officers carrying firearms must demonstrate proficiency annually.
There are more specialized forms of training for parole officers who serve with special populations. Officers supervising sex offenders must complete Sex Offender Specialized Officer Supervision School, which provides instruction on electronic monitoring and conducting polygraph examinations.
Serving as a Parole Officer in Corpus Christi
Corpus Christi parole officers are actively engaged in the lives of parolees. Referrals made by parole officers within the Corpus Christi parolee population included:
Prior to a hearing, prisoners are interviewed by Institutional Parole Officers who determine if the offender should be recommended for parole. The Board of Pardons and Paroles consider two class of criteria in granting parole.
- Static Factors:
- Prior incarcerations
- Employment history
- Age initially admitted to a detention facility
- Prior parole or supervisory revocations
- Nature of crime
- Dynamic Factors:
- Current age
- Gang affiliations
- Programs completed during imprisonment, including education or vocational training
- Behavior during incarceration
- Prison custody level
By assigning point values to these assessments, the Board attempts to produce a numerical value to the offender’s likelihood of successfully completing parole. A decision is then made according to that value. In some cases, other factors like victim input or an unwillingness to allow an offender reentry into society unsupervised may alter a decision.