Probation Officers and Correctional Treatment Specialists

Description

Provide social services to assist in rehabilitation of law offenders in custody or on probation or parole. Make recommendations for actions involving formulation of rehabilitation plan and treatment of offender, including conditional release and education and employment stipulations.

Tasks

  • Interview probationers and parolees regularly to evaluate their progress in accomplishing goals and maintaining the terms specified in their probation contracts and rehabilitation plans.
  • Recommend remedial action or initiate court action in response to noncompliance with terms of probation or parole.
  • Administer drug and alcohol tests, including random drug screens of offenders, to verify compliance with substance abuse treatment programs.
  • Prepare and maintain case folder for each assigned inmate or offender.
  • Discuss with offenders how such issues as drug and alcohol abuse and anger management problems might have played roles in their criminal behavior.
  • Conduct prehearing and presentencing investigations and testify in court regarding offenders' backgrounds and recommended sentences and sentencing conditions.
  • Inform offenders or inmates of requirements of conditional release, such as office visits, restitution payments, or educational and employment stipulations.
  • Write reports describing offenders' progress.
  • Arrange for medical, mental health, or substance abuse treatment services according to individual needs or court orders.
  • Supervise people on community-based sentences, such as electronically monitored home detention, and provide field supervision of probationers by conducting curfew checks or visits to home, work, or school.
  • Develop liaisons and networks with other parole officers, community agencies, correctional institutions, psychiatric facilities, and aftercare agencies to plan for helping offenders with life adjustments.
  • Arrange for postrelease services, such as employment, housing, counseling, education, and social activities.
  • Gather information about offenders' backgrounds by talking to offenders, their families and friends, and other people who have relevant information.
  • Develop rehabilitation programs for assigned offenders or inmates, establishing rules of conduct, goals, and objectives.
  • Develop and prepare packets containing information about social service agencies, assistance organizations, and programs that might be useful for inmates or offenders.
  • Provide offenders or inmates with assistance in matters concerning detainers, sentences in other jurisdictions, writs, and applications for social assistance.
  • Investigate alleged parole violations, using interviews, surveillance, and search and seizure.
  • Recommend appropriate penitentiary for initial placement of an offender.
  • Assess the suitability of penitentiary inmates for release under parole and statutory release programs and submit recommendations to parole boards.
  • Participate in decisions about whether cases should go before courts and which court should hear them.
  • Identify and approve work placements for offenders with community service sentences.

Knowledge

Therapy and Counseling
Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.
Psychology
Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
Customer and Personal Service
Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
English Language
Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Public Safety and Security
Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
Law and Government
Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
Education and Training
Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

Skills

Social Perceptiveness
Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Monitoring
Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Reading Comprehension
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Active Listening
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Speaking
Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Service Orientation
Actively looking for ways to help people.
Critical Thinking
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Abilities

Oral Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Problem Sensitivity
The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Written Comprehension
The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Written Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
Deductive Reasoning
The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
Inductive Reasoning
The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).

Work Activities

Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work
Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems
Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards
Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
Documenting/Recording Information
Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings
Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.

Work Context

Indoors, Environmentally Controlled
How often does this job require working indoors in environmentally controlled conditions?
Contact With Others
How much does this job require the worker to be in contact with others (face-to-face, by telephone, or otherwise) in order to perform it?
Telephone
How often do you have telephone conversations in this job?
Face-to-Face Discussions
How often do you have to have face-to-face discussions with individuals or teams in this job?
Electronic Mail
How often do you use electronic mail in this job?
Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People
How frequently does the worker have to deal with unpleasant, angry, or discourteous individuals as part of the job requirements?
Frequency of Decision Making
How frequently is the worker required to make decisions that affect other people, the financial resources, and/or the image and reputation of the organization?
Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results
How do the decisions an employee makes impact the results of co-workers, clients or the company?
Letters and Memos
How often does the job require written letters and memos?
Frequency of Conflict Situations
How often are there conflict situations the employee has to face in this job?

Interests

Social
Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
Enterprising
Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
Conventional
Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
Investigative
Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
Artistic
Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.
Realistic
Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

Work Style

Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Self Control
Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Stress Tolerance
Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Independence
Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
Adaptability/Flexibility
Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
Cooperation
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Concern for Others
Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
Persistence
Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.

Work Values

Support
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
Relationships
Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
Working Conditions
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
Achievement
Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
Recognition
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.
Independence
Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.

Lay Titles

Attendance Officer
Certified Juvenile Probation Officer
Chief Juvenile Probation Officer (CJPO)
Correctional Casework Specialist
Correctional Counselor
Correctional Probation Officer
Court Worker
Crime Prevention Worker
Deputy Juvenile Officer
Detention Attendant
Detention Officer
Detention Worker
Drill Instructor
Juvenile Correctional Officer
Juvenile Detention Officer
Juvenile Probation Officer
Offender Employment Specialist (OES)
Offender Job Retention Specialist
Offender Workforce Development Specialist (OWDS)
Parole Agent
Parole Officer
Parole Supervisor
Pre-Parole Counseling Aide
Prisoner Classification Interviewer
Probation and Parole Officer
Probation and Patrol Agent
Probation Counselor
Probation Officer
Probation Worker
Truant Officer

National Wages and Employment Info

Median Wages (2008):
$23.17 hourly, $48,190 annual.
Employment (2008):
86,780 employees