Adult parole services in West Virginia operate under the supervision of the West Virginia Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety, in accordance with the West Virginia Department of Corrections. There are six parole office divisions located throughout the state that are split between two regional offices (the North Region and the South Region.)
West Virginia parole officer jobs include supervising former inmates who have been released on parole. Many of the charges for people on parole involve minor offenses, misdemeanors, drug problems and violators of previous probation and parole, although some are former felons that spent numerous years behind bars.
Basic Requirements for Parole Officer Jobs in West Virginia
In order to become a parole officer in West Virginia, applicants must first meet a set of basic qualifications and requirements, which are a combination of experience and education. The following are some of the requirements an applicant must meet before completing an application:
- Must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university or college (preference is given to sociology, psychology, criminal justice, social work and related major fields)
- Must have one year of related work/ volunteer experience
- Must have no felony convictions
- Must be in good physical condition
- Must be of high moral character
- Must be at least 21 years of age
- Must be willing to relocate to any office in West Virginia
- Must be a United States citizen
Preference is also given to people with military experience, as long as they have an honorable discharge.
The Correctional Officer Exam
If applicants are chosen to continue along in the recruitment process they will be asked to complete the Correctional Officer Exam. The test is a written exam that tests an applicant’s ability to follow directions, use logic and make sound decisions under pressure. The score from the exam will be combined with the scores from the physical exam and the agility test in order to choose the best candidates for the position as a parole officer.
Training Academy for Parole Officers in West Virginia
Once the recruits are chosen from the pool of applicants, they will then be required to attend and graduate from the parole officer training academy. During the first year of recruitment, parole officers are required to complete at least 240 hours of training at the West Virginia Corrections Academy. Since the handling of a firearm is optional for parole officers in the state, there may be more training required- including a psychological exam and safety courses.
Once the first year of employment is complete, parole officers in West Virginia are then required to take part in at least 40 hours of in-service training each year that they are employed with the state’s parole division. Parole officers who choose to carry a firearm are required to take part in firearm recertification each year that they are employed with the parole division of West Virginia.