Probation officers in Virginia provide treatment services to law offenders who are on probation and are not incarcerated. They work under the Virginia Department of Corrections Community Corrections. As parole was abolished by Virginia’s legislature for felonies committed after 1995, Virginia probation officer jobs supervise offenders who are sentenced to six months to three years of probation by a judge upon their release from incarceration. Probation officer careers in Virginia may be based in the western, central or eastern regions of the state. There are 43 district offices, 11 community residential centers and 12 facilities operated by the state in which those holding Virginia probation officer jobs may be found working.
Education Required to Become a Probation Officer in Virginia
Probation officers in Virginia should have a bachelor’s degree in an applicable field, such as counseling, psychology, social work or criminal justice. In lieu of a degree, four years of relevant experience may be acceptable. If a prospective probation officer in Virginia has a graduate degree, this may be substituted for one year of experience, making the experience requirement three years instead of four.
Applying to Become a Probation Officer in Virginia
Applications for probation officer jobs in Virginia are taken online. Applicants should make sure that they are at least 21 years old, a U.S. Citizen, have a valid driver’s license and meet all position requirements before applying. Resumes, cover letters and other documents may be attached to the online application when submitted.
A thorough criminal background check will be performed on all applicants considered for employment. Applicants may also need to pass medical, psychological and drug testing, as well as interviews.
Training for Probation Officers in Virginia
New probation officers in Virginia will receive 40 hours of basic probation officer training. During the first year of employment, a probation officer in Virginia will receive 160 hours of training.
While there is no certification or licensure for probation officers in Virginia, they must complete 40 hours of approved continuing education yearly. All state employees in Virginia must also work on seven Commonwealth Competencies. They are areas that apply to all state jobs and may be used in a probation officer’s professional development, and include:
- Leadership and personal effectiveness
- Interpersonal/communication skills
- Serving the customer
- Achieving results
- Understanding the business
- Technical and functional expertise
Virginia Probation Officer Jobs
Per statistics provided by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in May 2012 there were 2830 probation officers working in the state of Virginia. The majority of these probation officers worked in the Alexandria-Arlington-Washington, D.C metropolitan area. The area of Virginia with the second highest number of probation officers working was the Newport News-Norfolk-Virginia Beach area, followed by the Richmond metropolitan area.