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Details for 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

  • Prepare and maintain case folder for each assigned inmate or offender.
  • Write reports describing offenders' progress.
  • Inform offenders or inmates of requirements of conditional release, such as office visits, restitution payments, or educational and employment stipulations.
  • Discuss with offenders how such issues as drug and alcohol abuse, and anger management problems might have played roles in their criminal behavior.
  • 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 liaisons and networks with other parole officers, community agencies, staff in correctional institutions, psychiatric facilities and after-care agencies in order to make plans for helping offenders with life adjustments.
  • Arrange for medical, mental health, or substance abuse treatment services according to individual needs and/or court orders.
  • Provide offenders or inmates with assistance in matters concerning detainers, sentences in other jurisdictions, writs, and applications for social assistance.
  • Arrange for post-release services such as employment, housing, counseling, education, and social activities.
  • Recommend remedial action or initiate court action when terms of probation or parole are not complied with.
  • Interview probationers and parolees regularly to evaluate their progress in accomplishing goals and maintaining the terms specified in their probation contracts and rehabilitation plans.
  • Supervise people on community-based sentences, including people on electronically monitored home detention.
  • Assess the suitability of penitentiary inmates for release under parole and statutory release programs, and submit recommendations to parole boards.
  • Investigate alleged parole violations, using interviews, surveillance, and search and seizure.
  • Conduct prehearing and presentencing investigations, and testify in court regarding offenders' backgrounds and recommended sentences and sentencing conditions.
  • Recommend appropriate penitentiary for initial placement of an offender.
  • 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.
  • Develop and prepare packets containing information about social service agencies and assistance organizations and programs that might be useful for inmates or offenders.

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.

Education, Training, Experience

  • Education - Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.
  • Training - Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.
  • Experience - A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an accountant must complete four years of college and work for several years in accounting to be considered qualified.

Knowledge

  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Clerical - Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Sociology and Anthropology - Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.
  • 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.
  • Law and Government - Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
  • 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.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Skills

  • 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.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Persuasion - Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
  • Service Orientation - Actively looking for ways to help people.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Related Careers

  • Child, Family, and School Social Workers
  • Educational, Vocational, and School Counselors
  • Eligibility Interviewers, Government Programs
  • Recreational Therapists
  • Residential Advisors
Wages for this career
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