Utah’s State Department of Workforce Services defines probation and parole officers (sometimes called correctional treatment specialists) as professionals that deliver social and rehabilitative services to probationers and parolees. The fundamental job duty of probation and parole officers in Utah is to design and execute customized supervisory plans that coincide with court-issued stipulations regarding conditional release, employment and education.
The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (USBLS) reports that in 2010 there were 93,200 probation and parole officers employed nationwide. By 2020, the USBLS predicts this number to soar to 110,400. This projection illustrates a growth change of 18%. According to the Utah department of Workforce Services, annual job openings will be the result of expanding businesses as opposed to workers leaving the field.
In 2010, there were 520 probation and parole officers employed in Utah. At that time, the state’s capital (and largest city) of Salt Lake City proved a major employment hub for these professionals, providing 230 jobs. Presently, public administration is by far the biggest industry of employment for probation and parole officers in Utah. In fact, there are 550 public administration firms in the state that employ 87.5% of the workforce for this occupation.
Job Qualifications and Certification for Utah’s Probation and Parole Officers
There are different types of probation officers in Utah. While some probation and parole officers are employed by the State Department of Corrections, others become private probation/parole service providers. In Utah, probation and parole officer jobs are available to candidates that are at least twenty-one years old and hold a high school diploma prior to employment.
Once hired, these recruits must complete training that results in a Correctional Officer II certification and a CAT-I certification during the first year of employment. Probation and parole officers are then obligated to complete forty hours of on-the-job training on an annual basis.
Yet, not all probation and parole officers work for the Department of Corrections, opting to become private probation providers instead. These professionals must obtain an official license from the Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing before they are permitted to practice in the state. In general, license qualifications depend on previously attained education and experience.
Applicants interested in learning how to become probation and parole officers in Utah must either hold a bachelor’s degree or show four years of full-time paid employment in the following related fields:
- Social Work
- Law Enforcement
- Criminal Practice
Job Activities for Probation and Parole Officers
Most of Utah’s probation and parole officer jobs are found in government agencies. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (USBLS), 56% of all probation and parole officers worked for state governments and 41% worked for local governments in 2010.
Although job responsibilities for probation and parole officers in Utah vary on a case-by-case basis, typical these jobs involve:
- Evaluating offenders to determine supervision methods
- Allocating rehabilitation resources
- Discussing available treatment opportunities
- Placing offenders in education and treatment programs
- Supervising behavior and compliance with court guidelines
- Monitoring progression/regression during probation
- Directing meetings with offenders, along with their family members
- Writing official reports that assess development