What Do Probation Officers Do (including Their Typical Day At Work)

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Job Description, Daily Responsibilities, and Work Life.

Job Description

Probation Officers 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. They also interview probationers and parolees regularly to evaluate their progress in accomplishing goals and maintaining the terms specified in their probation contracts and rehabilitation plans.

Other tasks include:

  • Recommend remedial action or initiate court action in response to noncompliance with terms of probation or parole.
  • Administer drug and alcohol tests, including random drug screens of offenders, to verify compliance with substance abuse treatment programs.
  • Prepare and maintain case folder for each assigned inmate or offender.
  • Discuss with offenders how such issues as drug and alcohol abuse and anger management problems might have played roles in their criminal behavior.
  • 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.

We asked Probation Officers how satisfied they are with their job. Here is what they said.

Job satisfaction

74%

How meaningful is this job

77%


74% of them said they were satisfied with their job and 77% said they find that their job makes the world a better place or helps to make someone else’s life better.



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Typical Day At Work

On a daily basis, Probation Officers prepare and maintain case folder for each assigned inmate or offender. They administer drug and alcohol tests, including random drug screens of offenders, to verify compliance with substance abuse treatment programs.

  • Gather information about offenders’ backgrounds by talking to offenders, their families and friends, and other people who have relevant information.
  • Interview probationers and parolees regularly to evaluate their progress in accomplishing goals and maintaining the terms specified in their probation contracts and rehabilitation plans.
  • Develop rehabilitation programs for assigned offenders or inmates, establishing rules of conduct, goals, and objectives.
  • Participate in decisions about whether cases should go before courts and which court should hear them.
  • Recommend remedial action or initiate court action in response to noncompliance with terms of probation or parole.

We asked some Probation Officers a few questions to find out what else does their work day look like. Here is what we found.

Do you have telephone conversations everyday in this job?89% said yes
How important is it to work in a team in this job?37% said very important
Do you have group discussions everyday in this job?84% said yes
Do you talk or work with customers everyday in this job?37% said yes
Do you have to deal with angry customers everyday in this job?59% said yes
Do you have to make decisions everyday in this job?54% said yes

Other responsibilities

Besides their typical day, Probation Officers also identify and approve work placements for offenders with community service sentences. They may also arrange for medical, mental health, or substance abuse treatment services according to individual needs or court orders.

On a weekly to monthly basis, Probation Officers Participate in decisions about whether cases should go before courts and which court should hear them. They might also Supervise people on community-based sentences, such as electronically monitored home detention, and provide field supervision of probationers by conducting curfew checks or visits to home, work, or school.

In addition, they Recommend appropriate penitentiary for initial placement of an offender.

Although specific duties may vary, many of them Write reports describing offenders’ progress.

To some Probation Officers, it is also their responsibility to Provide offenders or inmates with assistance in matters concerning detainers, sentences in other jurisdictions, writs, and applications for social assistance.


Working life

Working hours

Standard 40 hour work week

Working schedule

Regular schedule like a 9 to 5

In a typical work week as a Probation Officer and Correctional Treatment Specialist, you can expect to work 40 hour work week.

Do Probation Officers work in an office-style work environment?

Every day
90%


Once a year
5%


Do Probation Officers work outdoors?

Never
33%


Once a week
30%



Is this right for me

Best personality for this career

The Helpers and The Entrepreneurs

People who are suitable for this job tends to like working with, communicating with, and teaching people. They like helping or providing service to others..

They also like starting up and carrying out projects. They like leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.

You can read more about these career personality types here.




Learn more about Probation Officers

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Related to Probation Officers and Correctional Treatment Specialists Job Description

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Additional resources

http://www.bls.gov/OOH/community-and-social-service/probation-officers-and-correctional-treatment-specialists.htm
http://www.appa-net.org/eweb/
http://www.discovercorrections.com/


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