The Parole Officer Career In The Criminal Justice Field

By Kenneth Echie

A parole officer has a huge responsibility. Although this career is filled with numerous tasks and responsibilities, it is nevertheless very rewarding for individuals who find themselves drawn to the criminal justice field.

Contrary to what a lot of offenders believe, parole officers are not there to put offenders back into prison, but to ensure that those individuals stay out of jail. An officer will take all the steps necessary to monitor an offender, seeing that they make all probation and parole commitments on time, as well as ensuring that they meet all other necessary requirements.

Many criminal offenders must wear an ankle bracelet as well as attend drug classes. Parole officers may also help offenders to locate employment and help them locate certain government benefits as well. Other responsibilities include household visits, visits to prison facilities to investigate how an offender would react if released, overseeing halfway houses, and tracking parolees with GPS monitoring bracelets.


A career as a parole officer can be difficult, especially when dealing with stubborn and uncooperative offenders. You’ll need to have a very tactful and firm personality to be successful in this career. There is a probable chance that you will run into an insurmountable amount of conflict, especially during house visits of offenders who are living in less-than-fortunate conditions. Oftentimes it is the offender’s surrounding circumstances that cause them to fall off course, and it’s the parole officer’s job to do everything they can to help the offender get back on the road to living a normal life outside of prison.

Most parole officers have a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, psychology, social work, etc. Obtaining an entry level position is not difficult for individuals who have an associate’s degree in criminal justice or other related field. However, keep in mind that the pay is much lower with an associate’s degree.

One of the main requirements for someone who goes into this particular career field is lots of travel. In addition, you must also be available 24 hours a day, just in case you are needed at the parolee’s home in the middle of the night after work hours are over.

In addition, you must also be able to pass a standard physical and psychological exam. Unfortunately, not everyone is eligible to work in the criminal justice field. Individuals who have a previous extensive criminal record or felony may not be able to work as a parole officer. It would be helpful to check with the laws of your state if you do have a past criminal history before making the choice to become a parole officer.

The good news is that there are expected to be a lot more openings for parole officers. One poll predicts that this career field is expected to grow up to 19 percent between the years 2008 and 2018. Another benefit is job stability, especially if you have a degree. Although stressful, this is considered a great job for someone who has a passion for helping others to improve their lives.

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About the Author: Copywrite Kenneth Echie. Kenneth is a Writer, Expert Author, and Publisher. He currently writes for

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