Probation Officers and Correctional Treatment Specialists

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About the Job

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.

It is also Called

  • Youth Probation Officer
  • Truant Officer
  • Probation Worker
  • Probation Officer
  • Probation Counselor
  • Probation and Patrol Agent
  • Probation and Parole Officer
  • Prisoner Classification Interviewer
  • Pre-Parole Counseling Aide
  • Parole Supervisor
View All

What They Do

  • Identify and approve work placements for offenders with community service sentences.
  • Participate in decisions about whether cases should go before courts and which court should hear them.
  • Assess the suitability of penitentiary inmates for release under parole and statutory release programs and submit recommendations to parole boards.
  • Recommend appropriate penitentiary for initial placement of an offender.
  • Investigate alleged parole violations, using interviews, surveillance, and search and seizure.
  • Provide offenders or inmates with assistance in matters concerning detainers, sentences in other jurisdictions, writs, and applications for social assistance.
  • Develop and prepare packets containing information about social service agencies, assistance organizations, and programs that might be useful for inmates or offenders.
  • Develop rehabilitation programs for assigned offenders or inmates, establishing rules of conduct, goals, and objectives.
  • Gather information about offenders' backgrounds by talking to offenders, their families and friends, and other people who have relevant information.
  • Arrange for postrelease services, such as employment, housing, counseling, education, and social activities.

Interests

People who work in this occupation generally have the interest code: SEC.

This means people who work in this occupation generally have Social interests, but also prefer Enterprising and Conventional environments.

Work Values

People who work in this occupation generally prize Support, but also value Relationships and Working Conditions in their jobs.

Things They Need to Know

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Things They Need to Be Able to Do

  • 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.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • 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.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Education Required

Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.

Wages

In 2016, the average annual wage in Pennsylvania was $53,410 with most people making between $35,750 and $74,410

Outlook

0.02%
avg. annual growth

During 2014, this occupation employed approximately 4,200 people in Pennsylvania. It is projected that there will be 4,210 employed in 2024.

This occupation will have about 1 openings due to growth and about 79 replacement openings for approximately 80 total annual openings.



Pennsylvania Department of Education