In this role you will be actively involved with making pre-sentence recommendations, working with offenders in prison and then supervising them as they serve out prison or community sentences.
Probation officers serve as agents of the court and help ensure that sentence conditions mandated by the court are honored.
They work directly with offenders to encourage positive changes in behavior and to hold parolees accountable when required actions do not occur.
Basically, they are the buffer between the prison system and the criminal offender’s reintegration into society.
Qualifying for Probation Officer Positions
In order to qualify as a Probation Officer you will need a recognized level 5 qualifications such as a degree. You can also follow this career path if you have job or volunteer experience working with either vulnerable populations of the justice system.
Typically, you will begin your career as a Probation Services Officer and then gain work experience and additional training to qualify for the title of Probation Officer.
You will need both strong interpersonal skills and excellent administrative skills to effectively serve in this position. In your role as a Probation Officer you will encounter and work directly with a wide variety of people from very different backgrounds and circumstances in life.
Being able to relate to each person and to show them dignity and respect is critical to achieving the rapport necessary to help offenders change their lives and reenter society.
On the administrative side, you will be working with an extensive caseload that will require careful management. It is very important that you have superb report writing skills and are able to manage and organize your time.
Key Duties of Probation Officers
There are a wide variety of activities, duties and important responsibilities that are key elements of Probation Officer Jobs. Often you will first interact with an offender when you conduct pre-sentencing interviews and work with a dedicated team to prepare reports that advise the magistrates or judges on the most appropriate sentence.
When the offenders are in prison a Probation Officer will work high risk individuals and help prepare them for release back into society. In this role you will have to provide a detailed risk assessment and work directly with the offender to help them change and avoid committing additional crimes. You may also partner with community teams to help mitigate risk and assure a smoother transition process.
After the offender is released, you will monitor their activities and hold each individual accountable to adhering to court ordered instructions. As part of this the Probation Officer will encourage rehabilitation and help the offender be resettled into society.
If you would like a career that will challenge you to be your best and bring positive change to the world, consider pursuing a Probation Officer job. Your work will be rewarding and you will help protect society and make a difference in people’s lives.