This sample essay on Probation Essay provides important aspects of the issue and arguments for and against as well as the needed facts. Read on this essay’s introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion.
The definition of probation is a critical examination and evaluation or subjection to such examination and evaluation. This is what happens to people who break the law. Many get put on probation for a period of time set by the courts. At this time the probationer is under the supervision of what is called a probation/parole officer.
A probation officer, according to Merriam-Webster dictionary online, is an officer appointed to investigate, report on, and supervise the conduct of convicted offenders on probation.
This career is well suited for people oriented persons who has a drive to help others, a flexable schedule, be proficient in English and writing (a second language is also very helpful in some areas), and be willing to be in situations or with people that could be unsafe.
(Merriam-Webster, 2002) There is a difference between a probation and parole officer. Under probation the criminal has not been in prison but simple on probation after their offense. When someone is under parole they have been released from prison.
This means that the two officers work with different types of criminals. Probation officers will deal with criminals who have mostly done a minor infraction or people awaiting trial, where as parole officers tend to deal with more severe offenses which required incarceration. In many states these two position are combined into one.
An officer will work with either adults or juveniles. Probation officers work with the courts doing background investigations, presentence reports, rehabilitation recommendations and sentencing recommendations.
Sentencing recommendations are reviewed with the offender before being submitted to the court. In some situations the officer may need to testify. In Federal court probation officers also become pretrial services officers which makes them responsible for pretrial investigations and bond recommendations. Each officer will work on between 20 to over 300 active cases. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2003) Recent changes to the system have made for a change in the nature of the work. Probation and parole officers are now going to the offenders homes, places of employment, and therapy.
Also, different institutions are helping officers to monitor the offenders. More and more officers are using visits, email, teleconferencing, etc… to stay informed about offenders and their progress. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2003) Being closer to the offenders like this helps probation/parole officers to help them better enter into society as a law abiding citizen. The parole office acts as a counselor and lawperson. Officers will also involve offenders families and in turn help the rehabilitation process.
Offenders progress will be monitored by officers by keeping up with their home life, educational progress, and the fulfillment of recommendation from the courts ( these fulfillments may include anything from classes to random drug test). The downside of this type of system change is the increased risk of victimization. In an article called Worker Safety In Probation & Parole by William H. Parsonage and Joe A. Miller, some interesting facts about the safety of probation and parole officers are uncovered. They first define victimization as:
Hazardous incidents in which people working in probation and parole agencies have been assaulted or threatened in connection with their work. Examples of hazardous incidents affecting staff safety would include: physical assault or harm; threat of physical assault or har; assault or threat of harm to a worker’s family members; harm of threat of harm to one’s property; extortion; harm or threat of harm to a worker’s reputation; or psychological intimidation. Their studies showed that 62% of officers/agents have been victimized once or more during their career.
One in six of those officers/agents were physically assaulted, with 61% of them experiencing more one or more intimidations during their career. Thirty-five percent of the people surveyed reported that they were victimized within the last 12 months proceeding this study ( 6% physical assault and 34% intimidation). They study also showed that officers who dealt with parolees rather than just probationers were more likely to be victimized. It was also found that probation and parole officers who carry guns or who have self-defense training were more likely to be victimized.
When finding who was carrying out the assaults or threats it was shown that 89% of serious incidents were done by the offender and 11% by the offenders family member. Although there are many risk, the satisfaction of helping people in their community is usually what keeps probation/parole officers in this career. In 2000, 84,000 people were employed as probation officers (most coming from State or local government). California and Texas have the highest number of officers, which amounts to about one-fourth of the country’s officers. Prospective officers will have more luck in urban areas than any where else. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2003)
There are some qualifications that must be met in order to obtain a position as a probation/parole officer. Each applicant will have to go through a background check. Any applicant convicted of a felony is not eligible. All persons must be in good physical and emotional condition, and no younger than 21 years of age ( for Federal employment no older than 37 years of age). A bachelor’s degree in a related field is required, and a master’s is helpful and sometimes required for advancement. In most cases prospective officers will be given a written, oral, physical, and psychological examination.
Some states will require additional training or certification which will be given by that state. After an applicant is successfully accepted he or she will then become a trainee for six months before moving to a permanent position. After obtaining a permanent position an officer can expect to make between $36,980 to $40,820. (Bureau of Labor Statistics) This job is perfect for anyone who wants to make a difference in people’s lives. You will be responsible for helping people who have committed crimes go back into society and better themselves. Just as cops and fireman have to be careful each day so much probation officers.
It is getting riskier to become an officer due to added outings in the community. This job holds a heavy workload but if the heart is in it the whole thing will be worth it. You will be changing peoples lives, along with their families who need them to be productive in society. For many parolees the officer will be their only outlet because they have been jailed for a long period of time or did not have family in the beginning. Probation officers have an important job that is growing faster than average in our country. This is a respectable job with many benefits and pains.