Probation officers in El Paso work symbiotically with the West Texas Community Supervision and Corrections Department (WTCSCD) to manage approximately 15,000 probation cases. The WTCSCD does not regulate probation services in El Paso County alone, but also extends its reach to Culberson County and Hudspeth County as well. Due to its stellar staff of probation personnel, El Paso heralds the lowest crime rate among cities with populations over 500,000.
The most recent data collected by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (USBLS) shows there were 220 probation officer jobs in El Paso, TX in 2012. From 2010 to 2020, the Texas Workforce Commission expects the number of probation-related professionals in Texas to grow from 6,050 to 7,890. This increase suggests an employment growth of 30.4%. Both state and local government agencies employ the vast majority of probation officers in El Paso. Workers in this occupational bracket can anticipate around 315 annual job openings statewide.
Educational Criteria for Probation Officers
A great way to start preparing for a career as a probation officer in El Paso, Texas is to graduate from an accredited college or university with a bachelor’s degree in one of the following fields:
Post-graduate students that hold a degree in an unrelated field can gain still gain access to entry-level positions in El Paso. The West Texas Community Supervision and Corrections Department offers three different options for these individuals to prove professional creditability without a preferred degree:
- One year of graduate education in a job-related field
- One year of experience pertaining to counseling, casework or group work
- A letter signed by the Director of the Community Supervision and Corrections Department endorsing an applicant with an alternative education and experience history
Training upon Employment
Granted, the West Texas Community Supervision and Corrections Department expects their team of probation officers to acquire training through formal educational programs or previous job experiences before they are hired. However, new recruits, regardless of background, must learn how to become a probation officer according to standards established in El Paso by completing a week of intensive training. The training regimen is conducted by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice-Community Justice Assistance Division. Upon completing training, probation officers must pass an examination which results in certification.
Job Responsibilities in El Paso
- Design supervision strategies unique to each case
- Administer drug tests to probationers, as needed
- Recommend substance abuse treatment options
- Help probationers find employment
- Refer probationers to education and training programs
- Hold meetings with probationers to check compliance and progress
- Discuss the nature of an offense with the probation
- Clarify community supervision conditions with probationer