|By: Kenneth Echie|
If you are indeed contemplating a career as a probation or parole officer, below are the duties you can look forward to performing:
1. Don’t let the names or titles fool you. In most criminal justice systems, parole or probation officers perform the same roles and duties. In the few criminal justice systems where their roles are different, the parole officer is involved after the offenders have served some of their time in prison while the probation officer works with those who are given probation sentence. This probation sentence does not require serving some time in prison.
2. The probation or parole officer is involved in pre-sentence investigations. The courts need help when sentencing a convicted criminal. The criminal’s character and records are important. It would be unfair to sentence a person who just committed a crime for the first time to the same sentence as a habitual offender.
This is where the parole or probation officer must help the courts. He or she will investigate the offender’s record. This can be done by talking to friends, family, and digging into public records. The probation or parole officer must then present his or her findings to the court to help guide the court’s sentencing.
3. The parole or probation officer is involved in pre-parole investigations. Again the investigation will involve digging into the convicted criminal’s behavior and record while in prison. The parole or probation officer will accomplish this by talking to warden’s, relatives, complainants, and even the police.
4. The probation or parole officer is involved in the rehabilitation of the parolee. In this instance, the officer must help plan the parolee’s effective re-introduction into society. This will involve helping the parolee acquire job training, job, and social skills by recommending the appropriate resources. The parole or probation officer must also monitor how the parolee in progressing in these resources.
5. Probation or parole officers have the power to arrest parolees or probationers. If a parolee or probationer breaks the terms of the parole and the probation or parole officer feels it has become necessary to send him or her to jail, then they must arrest the parolee.
This means parole or probation officers can carry guns. While they are advised to seek police assistance if the need for arrest arises, there are times police will not be readily available. So a gun may be needed in case the situation becomes dangerous.
As you can see, probation or parole officers perform many roles or duties in the criminal justice field. It will be hard to cover all the duties and roles in this short article. But I think you have enough information to help you make informed decision on this profession. For those that are interested in getting into the profession, now is as a good a time as ever.
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