There are two agencies in Milwaukee that employ probation officers. At the state level, probation officers work for the Division of Community Corrections of the Wisconsin Department of Corrections. In fact, Milwaukee is the location of the Judicial Region 3 headquarters for the Wisconsin Division of Community Corrections.
The federal government also employs some 39 probation officers in Milwaukee. The main office of the Wisconsin Eastern District of the Federal Probation Office is also located in Milwaukee.
Both state and federal probation officers in Milwaukee have similar roles, although with different classes of offenders. Federal probation officers specialize in managing the cases of criminals in the Milwaukee area that have broken federal laws.
Upon being assigned a case, probation officers – both state and federal – investigate the background of the person and interview the offender and those who know them to prepare a presentence report. This helps the probation officer to assess the risk that the offender poses and determine areas where help would be most beneficial.
The conditions of release are recommended in the presentence report. Probation officer jobs involve monitoring offenders to ensure they are fulfilling the conditions of their probation. This could involve directing them to programs that provide job training or treatment for substance abuse and/or mental health issues.
Requirements and Training to Become a Probation Officer in Milwaukee
Education – The requirements to become a probation and parole agent for the state of Wisconsin include knowledge in an area such as the methods of social work, criminal justice, counseling, or problem solving. Applicants can gain such skills either by obtaining a bachelor’s or higher level degree or through professional work experience. One possibility is to have two years of experience in social services combined with 60 hours of college credits.
Application Process – Those who are selected to be probation officers in Milwaukee can expect to be fingerprinted and undergo a criminal background check. New employees learn how to become probation officers by participating in state-mandated training. Those with careers as probation officers in Wisconsin must have eight hours of training yearly in the Principle of Subject Control.
Training Academy – Applicants for federal probation officer positions must have good vision and hearing. Those who are applying for the first time must be younger than 37 when they are appointed. Exceptions can be made for those who have previous federal law enforcement experience. Training to become a federal probation officer involves attending the Federal Probation and Pretrial Services Training Academy for six weeks. This academy is located in Charleston at the site of the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center.