Probation officer requirements

If you are looking to pursue a career as a probation officer, then you will need to complete a formal undergraduate education with a university or community college. Not all schools offer programs that are specifically designed for a career of a probation officer, most people in the field tend to have a background in criminology, psychology or sociology.
Criminology may be the specialization closest to the role of a probation officer, as it deals with the studies of the justice system, the role of the government as well as the governance of criminals. Students can pursue these programs at most universities or community colleges in an online or in a classroom environment. The specialization may be offered as an associate degree as a two-year program or as a bachelor degree as a four year program. Depending on the students’ interests and affordability, some of them may choose to undergo a bachelor degree program in order to further their studies in graduate school later on.
Here are some of the courses that students can expect to take in a criminology program:
• Criminology: These courses provide students with an overview on the role of law in society. Students will learn about the theories of the society and how people’s actions are governed within parameters which are designed to protect them from harm. They will also learn about theories on how correctional measures are designed to govern those who offend the law.
• Juvenile Justice Process: In today’s society, crime committed by minors are on the rise and their actions are accountable to the law. Students will learn how the criminal justice system considers the crimes which are committed by minors and how the ruling considers a number of factors such as welfare, rehabilitation and evaluation in order to give minors a chance to change before they reoffend as an adult.
• Policing: These courses examines the role of policing in American society. The relationship between the police and the community, the law and society. Students will examine the history of policing in America and learn about the future of this field in terms of protecting citizens from harm without risking their basic freedoms.
• Correctional System: Students will learn about how the correctional system punishes those who break the law. They will learn about the various types of sentencing and how theses punishments are designed to keep the peace as well as provide an opportunity for the criminals to serve the community for the crimes they committed.
• American Courts: Students will learn about the American court system and the levels involved based on the type of crime committed.
• Crime Control: These courses are designed to provide students with the opportunity to analyze the effectiveness of society’s strategy in controlling crime. They will also learn how the changing nature of crime has affected policies around crime and punishment.
• Victimology: These courses will provide students with information on those who are affected by the crime and how they interact with society as a result. They’ll also learn about society’s approach to protecting victims.
• Terrorism: Students will learn about the nature of terrorism and how the American justice system is designed to combat these types of crimes.
For more information on the courses or programs required to become a probation officer, please contact your high school counselor.
Reference:
1. Criminology and Criminal Justice. Portland State University. http://www.pdx.edu/hatfieldschool/undergraduate-course-descriptions

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