Government & Defence

Probation & Parole Officer

Probation or parole officers monitor and work with people serving probation, parole, community service and home detention orders.

  • Entry-level education

    Junior secondary school certificate or equivalent

  • Job outlook

    1 2 3 4 5

What does a Probation & Parole Officer do?

Probation or parole officers monitor and work with people serving probation, parole, community service and home detention orders. This role is also known as a community corrections officer.

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Work activities

As a probation or parole officer, you would:

  • write reports for magistrates and judges to assist with sentencing decisions
  • supervise offenders on community service orders
  • write risk assessments for parole review boards
  • develop case management plans in consultation with offenders
  • use counselling and intervention strategies to promote law abiding behaviour
  • run programs for offenders to support rehabilitation and employment prospects
  • help prepare prisoners for release
  • conduct regular interviews with clients to assess, monitor and report on their progress
  • work closely with other agencies such as the police or social services.
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Key skills and interests

To become a probation or parole officer, you would need:

  • a non-judgmental manner
  • an ability to deal with a wide range of people
  • an honest and responsible attitude
  • good communication skills
  • good people skills
  • a calm manner.
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Working hours and conditions

Working Hours

As a probation or parole officer, you would work a standard number of hours per week, which may be at night and on weekends, or include on-call duties.

Conditions

You would be based in an office but spend time visiting courts, prisons and local community areas, and clients' homes. The role may be emotionally demanding.

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How to become an Probation & Parole Officer?

Entry Level Education

No formal qualifications are required to become a probation officer. Your employment prospects may be improved if you have a VET qualification in community services work, counselling or a related field.

You may also become a probation or parole officer by studying behavioural science, social work, social science, criminology, justice studies or psychology at university. To get into these courses you usually need to gain your senior secondary school certificate or equivalent. English and mathematics are appropriate subjects to study prior to university.

Applicants for jobs as probation or parole officers undergo a selection assessment. Successful applicants undertake the relevant off-the-job training, followed by a probationary period of on-the-job training.

Before commencing employment, you would also undergo a National Police Check and must hold a current drivers' licence.

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Job outlook

  • 1 2 3 4 5

Overall employment of probation and parole officers is expected to grow moderately. Employment of these officers is dependent on government funding, and the number of community corrections orders being handed out.

Opportunities may exist to work in the rehabilitation area with a greater emphasis on programs designed to rehabilitate offenders and limit their risk of repeated offenses. Because this is a high turnover occupation, there will continue to be prospects for employment.

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