Parole Officers

Parole Officer Checks in with a Parolee

Parole is the conditional release of a prisoner who has not served out a full sentence. A long-standing practice of the U.S. justice system, parole is granted for a variety of reasons, including the "good behavior" of a prisoner, as well as overcrowding in prisons.

Prisoners on parole, or parolees, are assigned to a parole officer upon their release. It is the job of the parole officer to meet periodically with the parolee to ensure that the terms of the release are followed; to provide guidance and counseling; and to help the parolee find a job, housing, a therapist, or any other means of support. Parolees who break the release agreement may be returned to prison. There are about 87,950 probation officers and correctional treatment specialists, including parole officers, working in the United States.

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Quick Facts
Alternate Title(s) Probation Officers
Duties Supervise and advise parolees; help parolees find employment, housing, and other ways to cope with life outside prison; meet periodically with the parolee and parolee's teachers, employers, and family
Salary Range $25,000 to $100,000
Work Environment Primarily Indoors
Best Geographical Location(s) Opportunities exist in all regions
Minimum Education Level
  • Bachelor's Degree
School Subjects
  • Government
  • Psychology
  • Social Studies
Experience On-the-job training
Personality Traits
  • Helpful
  • Outgoing
  • Realistic
  • Foreign Language
  • Interpersonal
  • Leadership
Certification or Licensing Required
Special Requirements Must pass a criminal background check
Employment Prospects Good
Advancement Prospects Good
Outlook Little Change or More Slowly than the Average
Career Ladder
  • Supervisor
  • Parole Officer II
  • Parole Officer
  • Parole Officer Trainee

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