Probation officers work with legal offenders to help them become productive in the community.
There are three types of officers who work with offenders:
- Probation officers
- Parole officers
- Correctional treatment specialists
Probation officers assist offenders who are sentenced to probation. They provide resources to offenders to help in their rehabilitation. They discuss treatment options and arrange for offenders to enter treatment programs. They write reports that outline the offender's progress and maintain case folders. Probation officers usually work with juveniles or adults. Some work with both.
Parole officers supervise offenders who have been released from prison on parole. They help people re-enter society. They carefully monitor parolees and lead them to services such as substance abuse treatment or job training. They also help them find medical treatment or housing.
Correctional treatment specialists
Correctional treatment specialists counsel offenders in jail. They write reports used by parole boards to determine if a prisoner should be released. They also help them plan for their release. They assess offenders to find out what type of services they will need when they are released from jail or prison.
Probation and parole officers determine if their clients are making progress and following the conditions of their probation. They conduct regular interviews with their clients and also talk to family members or employers.
Probation officers who suspect violations or criminal behavior investigate offenders. They may require clients to have drug tests. Sometimes they recommend that offenders be returned to jail.
Some probation officers investigate offenders before they go to trial to see if they can stay in the community before their trial.