By a recent count, the greater Arlington metropolitan area was home to 1,130 employees working in the probation field. Probation officers help to strengthen Arlington by protecting the public’s safety and holding offenders accountable to the terms of probation, while at the same time reducing the prison population and allowing probationers a second chance at becoming responsible citizens. The recent median national wage for probation officers was $47,200, while those working in the greater Arlington metro area earned an average annual salary of $53,480 in 2012.
Preparing for a Probation Career with the Right Education
It is recommended by the Community Corrections Division – the agency responsible for the State’s probation and parole program – that applicants for probation officer jobs in Arlington have a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, human services, or a related field such as social work or psychology. Candidates are also recommended to be able to meet the following:
- Experience with client work in a criminal justice setting
- Knowledge of Virginia Code sections relevant to felony probationers
Applicants for probation officer jobs can begin by creating an online profile and filling out a Virginia State application for employment. This is followed by conducting a job search for probation officer vacancies posted in Arlington. The Arlington probation and parole office is located in the Community Corrections Division’s Central Region in the 10th district. Candidates whose applications are chosen for follow up will be scheduled for an interview, followed by a background check and drug screening.
Probation Officer Training Requirements in Arlington
Newly hired officers attend an Academy for Staff Development at one of two locations in Virginia- Crozier or Marion. They will complete a total of 160 hours of education and training in areas covering:
- Probation and parole system
- Criminal justice system
- Psychological assessments and evaluations
- Suicide prevention and self-defense
- CPR and first aid
After their first year of employment, probation officers must also complete an annual 40 hours of continuing education and training each year.
Community Corrections Division Requirements
All candidates wanting to apply for a career as a probation officer must possess experience in the following areas:
- Making client referrals to appropriate service and program providers
- Directly working with human services or criminal justice clients
- Compiling evidence and authoring reports for presentation
- Case management including documentation, supervision, and evaluation
- Intake assessments for risk and aggravation factors