Adult probation services in the state of West Virginia are separate from those of juveniles. Probation officers in the state are part of the Supreme Court of Appeals, which has 31 judicial circuit offices. The probation office in Cabell County is located in Huntington, the county seat and the location of chambers for the Sixth Judicial Circuit.
Probation Officer Requirements and Training in Cabell County
Degree Requirements – A bachelor’s degree is required for those seeking jobs as probation officers in Cabell County. The degree must be from a four year regionally accredited institution and should be in a field relevant to criminal justice such as political science, behavioral science, criminology, public administration or business management.
There are additional experience requirements for specialized probation officer jobs in the Intensive Supervision Unit. Candidates must have three years of work experience that involved supervision of offenders or casework clients.
Training Requirements – New employees of the West Virginia Division of Probation learn how to become probation officers in Cabell County during their first year of employment by participating in formal training for 240 hours. Additional training is required for probation officers who seek to carry handguns. They must take four hours of safety training for handguns. Once probation officers have completed their first year on the job, they receive 40 hours of refresher training each year.
The Role of Probation Officers in Cabell County
Probation officers who work in Cabell County provide initial assessments of the risk posed by individual offenders and then recommend sentences based on their findings. These officers also conduct drug screenings. Probation officer careers are spent working closely with community agencies to provide services that enhance the chances that offenders will succeed in becoming reintegrated into the community.
In addition to being the site of the Sixth Judicial Circuit, Cabell County also has a dedicated Drug Court. Participants are non-violent offenders whose crime appears to have been motivated by a substance abuse problem. Probation officers heavily supervise the participants in this program. The Drug Court started in September 2009 and had its first graduate in December 2010.
Sex offenders are subject to intensive supervision around the clock. Region V of the Sex Offender Supervision Regions includes Cabell County. The probation officers in this program often operate out of vehicles rather than offices to help them maintain mobility and more closely track their probationers.