The Texas Department of Criminal Justice’s Parole Division conducts supervision of parolees within Houston. Houston is the headquarters for Region III of the Parole Division and is located within Harris County.
Harris County reported that 15,023 total offenders were released into the community from state prisons in 2011. Of these, 7,288 had completed their court-appointed sentences and did not require further supervision, while 7,303 remained under parole supervision, and 432 were released to community supervision. The average cost of supervision of a parolee in Harris County per day was $3.63. The maximum caseload for parole officers in Houston is limited to 75, according to departmental policy and state law.
The starting salary for parole officers in Harris County range from $34,572 to $34,776 with a promotion up to Parole Officer II, which has a salary between $36,636 and 36,876 within 24 months, so jobs can be competitive among those interested in learning how to become parole officers in Houston.
Steps to Become a Parole Officer in Houston, Texas
Meet the Requirements – In order to join the TDCJ Parole Division, applicants must meet the following minimum job requirements:
- U.S. citizen or alien with work permit
- 18 years or older
- Bachelor’s degree with preference given to majors in
- Social work
- Criminal justice
- Possess a valid Texas driver’s license
- No domestic violence convictions
- No dishonorable military discharges
- No felony convictions
- Ability to pass a drug test
Complete the Application Process – Parole officer jobs in Houston are not necessarily publicized, so applicants should submit an application along with the following documents to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice:
- Copy of driver’s license
- Copy of social security card
- DD Form 214 (for military veterans)
- Copy of Selective Service Registration Card for males between 18 and 25
Attend Training – Once hired, new officers must complete a six-week training program at the Parole Officer Training Academy. Following graduation, new officers must complete the course regarding Texas Law Enforcement Telecommunications System operations within six months. Each year, parole officers must obtain at least 20 hours of division approved training.
Parole officers in Houston may supervise three types of offenders: parolees, mandatory supervision releasees, and discretionary mandatory releasees:
- Parolees are offenders who have been granted an early release by the Board of Pardons and Paroles.
- Mandatory supervision releasees are offenders who are automatically released upon completion of their sentence minus any credits; the Board does not possess any authority over the release of these offenders or the terms of their supervision.
- Offenders who committed crimes after 1996 may be released upon discretionary mandatory releases, but such releases require approval by the Parole Board.