Probation officers in Chesapeake are in a unique position as the link between offenders, the criminal justice system, and the rest of the law-abiding citizens of the city. With the help of probation officers, those on probation have an opportunity to learn how to become reintegrated into society as responsible community members. If probationers choose to continue a life of crime then their assigned probation officer will defend public safety and arrange for their arrest.
In 2012 the average annual probation officer’s salary in Virginia was calculated at $44,580.
Jobs in the probation field are projected to grow by 18 percent through 2020 nationwide. Bloomberg Businessweek recently ranked Chesapeake as 21st among the 50 top states to live in for its low unemployment rate, livability and quality of life. The city is in the 31st district of the Community Corrections Division’s Eastern Region, with the probation and parole district office located on Live Oak Drive just off highway 13, a few miles from the junction of I-464 and I-64.
Career Preparation: Getting the Right Education
The Division of Community Corrections, the agency under the Virginia Department of Corrections that oversees the State probation and parole services, prefers applicants for probation officers to have the following:
- A bachelor’s degree in criminal justice or a human services-related field such as social work and psychology
- Experience working with clients in a criminal justice setting
- Prior knowledge of Virginia State Codes, specifically those related to felon supervision
Candidates for probation officer jobs in Chesapeake must also be able to demonstrate a history or capability of developing the following skills:
- Case activity documentation and case management supervision
- Ability to work directly with a diverse set of clientele and coworkers
- Capability to obtain and compile information into a presentable report
- For criminal justice and human services clients:
- Ability to counsel using appropriate treatment and techniques
- Ability to make appropriate referrals
Becoming a Probation Officer in Chesapeake: Application and Training
Those interested in working as a probation officer in Chesapeake should monitor the State’s employment website where vacant jobs are posted. To apply for a position, candidates need to fill out an online state application – a process that begins by first creating an online account with the Virginia human resources department. If a candidate is selected to continue in the application process, he or she will proceed to an interview which, if successful, will lead to a pre-employment drug test and background investigation.
Newly hired probation officers in Chesapeake will attend either the Academy for Staff Development (ASD) in Crozier, or the newer ASD-West in Marion to complete their obligatory 160 hours of training and classes. After their first year of employment, probation officers must also complete an annual in-service training consisting of at least 40 hours.