How To Become A Cop

Probation Officer Jobs

Among the most fulfilling aspects of probation officer jobs is the sense of satisfaction that comes from helping an offender get back on the right footing.  Often, the probation officer is the person who identifies the real reasons behind an offender’s criminal behavior, and arranges for help.

Help may come in the form of drug rehabilitation, arrangements to remove a child from an abusive home, residential treatment, community service, or finding them a job.  The juvenile probation officer plays a particularly important and influential counseling role in the lives of those who have been charged to them.

Parole officers are the prison systems’ equivalent to the probation officers.  Parole officers deal with inmates who are about to be, or have been, released from prison. Probation officers work with clients who have been convicted of a crime, but have been sentenced to probation rather than to incarceration.  Both types of officers serve a counseling role, as well as a legal oversight role, in order to make sure that the offender does not reoffend.

Probation officer jobs also include a heavy dose of report writing and testifying in court.  They must prepare within a court-mandated timeframe, reports identifying the progress the probationer is making in fulfillment of goals designed to bring that person back into the good graces of society.  The probation officer’s recommendations will carry a lot of weight with the court.

In order to understand what is going on with each client, the probation officer will spend a lot of time in the field interviewing parents, neighbors, school officials, and others who are in daily contact with the probationer.  That investigation will result in the reports that end up determining what will happen to that probationer within the court system.  Sometimes meetings with family members and the probationer will be heated and difficult.  Just like the street cop, sometimes the probation officer will be expected to diffuse angry and frustrated people.

Probation officer jobs are not sought out for the financial reward.  Probation officers as of 2006 made a median base salary of $42,500, according to the U. S. Department of Labor Bureau of Statistics.  The value of the job is in the intrinsic reward of helping offenders to readjust to society’s expectations, and to become productive citizens.


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