Parole Officer Job Description
A Parole Officer is assigned to a parolee after their release from prison to assist them as they adjust to their transition back into society. They may help with everything from job searches to staying drug-free. It is often up to the Parole Officer to decide if their client needs to return to prison. For this reason, they remain instrumental to the rehabilitation process.
Parole Officers are typically responsible for a large load of cases at one time. While it requires them to manage their time well, this detail of the job gives Parole Officers some freedom to determine their own schedules. Being a Parole Officer does require some time spent behind a desk. However, it also involves traveling to the homes or job sites of parolees and their family members. Each day on the job tends to vary, an attractive feature for many people who may be considering this career.
Parole Officer Duties and Responsibilities
Stated in a broad way, the main duty of a Parole Officer is to monitor the development of parolees after they have been released from prison in hopes of getting them back on the right track. A Parole Officer is often assigned to an inmate before their release date arrives in order to determine a plan of action that is most likely to lead to a successful reintroduction to freedom.
Parole Officers are responsible for supervising felons who have recently been involved with illegal activity or been released from prison. Parole Officers provide counseling and advice to their clients to best help them get back on track and stay out of trouble. They are responsible for consistently monitoring each of the parolees placed under their supervision.
Keep Detailed Records
Since the Parole Officer is the one engaging in consistent communication with each parolee, they are responsible for keeping very detailed records on each of their cases. These reports will keep track of the parolee’s progress using things like employment details and information from friends and family members. The records and reports will be used to determine whether or not the rehabilitation of the client is being achieved.
Communicate Policies and Procedures
When an inmate is released from prison, they are expected to abide by a long list of policies and procedures that are conditions of their parole. However, the parolees may not always totally understand what is expected of them. It is the Parole Officer’s responsibility to review all applicable policies and procedures and communicate them to their client in a manner that they comprehend.
In addition to meeting with their client, a Parole Officer will investigate further by talking to friends, family members, employers and coworkers. The purpose of these meetings is to discover the effectiveness of the rehabilitation process and determine how the client is coping. The Parole Officer will often make recommendations to the court regarding how long a parolee needs to remain under supervision.
Parole Officer Skills
Due to the amount of time they spend talking to court officials, judges and criminals, Parole Officers tend to be very good communicators. The job is one that requires both patience and understanding, as it can be challenging to assist with the rehabilitation of a recent criminal. Based on our search of various job listings, the following are the skills that most employers are seeking in Parole Officers.
- Training and certification in the use of a firearm
- Understanding of relevant laws and regulations
- Possessing and encouraging and supportive demeanor
- Being physically fit enough to do the job
While not all of the job listings we viewed asked for the following skills, enough did to make them worth listing.
- Ability to perform drug tests
- Background in psychology and human behavior
Parole Officer Resources
We browsed the internet to come up with some of the most useful resources for Parole Officers. Each of the following links will provide you with more insight into this career field.
On the Web
Criminal Justice Online Blog – This online resource is a compilation of information related to colleges and careers in the criminal justice system.
Probation Matters – While a Parole Officer differs from a Probation Officer, this blog is an interesting resource for anyone interested in the criminal justice industry
American Probation and Parole Association – An organization dedicated to educating and training to those working in the criminal justice and corrections industry
Parole Officer Books
Officer Survival for Probation and Parole Officers – A comprehensive guide and collection of advice on how to safely and effectively supervise criminals
Parole Officer Resume Help
Explore these related job titles from our database of hundreds of thousands of expert-approved resume samples: