Community Corrections Officer

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Becoming a Community Corrections Officer

A Community Corrections Officer oversees programs that help offenders find an alternative to jail time. Namely, most Community Corrections officers are assigned individuals who are serving parole or probation sentences. As such, the Community Corrections Officer has a tremendous volume of oversight-related responsibilities, and they will have to regularly interact and engage with their assigned offenders in a community setting.

One tremendously rewarding component of serving as a Community Corrections Officer is the ability to help individuals who have been convicted for crimes make positive choices in their lives. By avoiding jail sentencing or shortening jail sentences, these individuals can live as citizens within their community and rehabilitate themselves to become happier, healthier and more productive community members.

Learn how to become a Community Corrections Officer and pursue a career serving as a probation or parole agency by taking these following steps:

Step 1 - Meet the Position’s Requirements

Requirements for becoming a Community Corrections Officer will vary depending on the agency you serve and the community in which you intend to serve. Most positions will require:

  • A valid U.S. citizenship
  • You to be at least 21 years of age or older
  • No prior felony convictions or drug-related offenses
  • A high school diploma or GED

These criteria are quite demanding, but correspond to greater jurisdictional authority and a higher earning potential. Not every position will demand this level of skill, though. Washington State Department of Corrections candidates are not required to be U.S. citizens as long as they are able to legally work in the United States and have a driver’s license.

Step 2 - Acquire Practical Skills and Knowledge

The skills needed to be an adept Community Corrections Officer are quite diverse. Your duties may include:

  • Regular interviews with offenders to monitor program progress and compliance
  • Administration of urinalysis drug screenings
  • In-home checkups on select occasions
  • Documented assessment of parole or probation subject for presentation to the court
  • Arrangement of community service hours to satisfy program requirements
  • Ensuring offender attendance at treatment, assessment or educational programs
  • Investigation of offenders suspected to be violating terms of parole or probation
  • Coordination with local law enforcement when violations occur

Because of the many duties a Community Corrections Officer will have to perform, they must have impeccable organization, administration and interpersonal skills. They must also be able to walk the line between mentoring offenders and ensuring that expectations, program requirements and the penalties for violations are clear.

Additional skills and qualities that can enhance your eligibility for positions include:

  • An ability to speak Spanish
  • Exceptional communication abilities
  • A personable but firm demeanor
  • Prior experience in criminal justice, law enforcement, military training and related fields
  • An impeccable employment history and references
  • An Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice, criminology or a related field

Step 3 - Satisfy Any Training Requirements

A minimum amount of training hours or supervised work hours may be necessary in order to be eligible for some positions. The method of obtaining these hours can vary, but some Community Corrections program facilitators may be able to offer internships or trainee positions. Other companies may be willing to take on untrained and inexperienced individuals and then have them undergo the needed training hours before their official duties begin.

Determine the necessary experience and training needed for the positions you aspire to, and seek out opportunities to satisfy these requirements.

Step 4 - Apply for a Community Corrections Officer Position

Your ability to satisfy minimum job requirements will vary based on the area you operate in and the company you will work for. You can begin applying for jobs the moment you are able to satisfy these requirements.

Note that jobs that have stricter candidate criteria may offer more competitive pay, so always be searching for advancement opportunities as well as training or certifications that can make you more competitive.

Community Corrections Salary Information

Community Corrections Salaries by State

Location 10% 25% Median 75% 90%
United States $32,810 $38,220 $49,060 $65,320 $83,920
Alabama $25,710 $33,410 $40,650 $51,830 $60,120
Arizona $37,610 $43,040 $49,800 $59,600 $69,580
Arkansas $28,650 $31,210 $34,820 $39,870 $45,620
California $53,570 $64,640 $77,470 $95,070 $100,930
Colorado $37,520 $45,270 $52,610 $66,250 $79,720
Connecticut $55,170 $69,750 $75,190 $88,620 $93,220
District of Columbia $40,950 $51,160 $68,030 $73,110 $79,210
Florida $31,070 $34,290 $38,130 $44,380 $49,830
Georgia $26,900 $31,000 $35,260 $39,760 $47,390
Hawaii $41,450 $45,560 $53,040 $62,020 $73,750
Idaho $26,660 $33,320 $36,960 $41,840 $46,970
Illinois $41,310 $53,810 $70,970 $86,160 $87,880
Indiana $23,800 $25,520 $38,420 $47,550 $57,350
Iowa $41,500 $52,800 $67,000 $77,580 $83,510
Kansas $30,940 $33,580 $37,780 $44,970 $50,930
Kentucky $31,400 $32,970 $33,800 $38,630 $45,400
Louisiana $30,360 $33,790 $43,160 $56,170 $67,940
Maine $28,830 $33,980 $37,440 $48,880 $48,900
Maryland $42,870 $48,590 $54,330 $63,250 $68,810
Massachusetts $43,900 $54,300 $67,600 $77,340 $89,080
Michigan $42,340 $51,280 $55,820 $60,360 $63,380
Minnesota $42,240 $52,320 $66,110 $78,100 $89,810
Mississippi $22,660 $26,860 $28,880 $31,820 $43,560
Missouri $33,850 $35,700 $36,510 $39,890 $45,560
Montana $30,290 $35,600 $41,000 $47,160 $50,890
Nebraska $35,050 $35,060 $37,870 $42,000 $47,340
Nevada $42,820 $50,350 $59,330 $70,260 $78,070
New Hampshire $47,380 $52,560 $58,480 $62,430 $69,750
New Jersey $48,670 $59,390 $75,280 $90,440 $98,650
New Mexico $26,830 $31,220 $35,310 $41,380 $47,370
New York $48,280 $55,870 $66,830 $76,030 $86,340
North Carolina $33,310 $37,480 $38,310 $41,150 $45,200
North Dakota $37,610 $42,190 $47,750 $55,840 $62,380
Ohio $33,090 $38,750 $47,000 $56,770 $62,940
Oklahoma $28,830 $33,250 $37,730 $44,480 $49,530
Oregon $38,440 $44,180 $53,550 $65,540 $71,410
Pennsylvania $34,510 $41,640 $50,270 $60,940 $71,710
South Carolina $27,880 $32,020 $36,860 $44,590 $53,120
South Dakota $31,140 $34,260 $39,580 $45,830 $49,660
Tennessee $26,900 $32,540 $35,490 $42,620 $50,800
Texas $32,690 $35,750 $39,950 $46,640 $55,040
Utah $29,760 $43,950 $47,650 $50,330 $54,580
Vermont $49,550 $52,820 $56,520 $61,670 $67,540
Virginia $34,360 $37,310 $43,080 $52,330 $64,010
Washington $41,920 $50,510 $53,050 $56,840 $69,820
West Virginia $25,230 $29,750 $37,210 $46,460 $58,240
Wisconsin $39,310 $45,780 $49,390 $54,140 $56,710
Wyoming $35,350 $43,210 $46,230 $46,260 $50,750
Puerto Rico $25,100 $27,520 $31,560 $35,580 $37,990

Table data taken from 2014 BLS (http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes211092.htm)