What is the role of the Field Parole Officer?
What particular character traits and skills do you feel would benefit the field parole officer in fulfilling their duties and responsibilities while simultaneously protecting themselves and others from harm?
Must include in-text citation and be in APA 6TH edition format.
Field Parole Officer
Field Parole Officer
A field parole officer is hired to assist parolees in finding jobs, making school applications, or making suggestions on beneficial programs. For instance, a field parole officer is meant to assist a former drug addict in enrolling in substance abuse programs. Once a prisoner is paroled and is now allowed or instead eligible to return into the community, they go under the supervision of a field parole officer. He also helps these parolees obtain medical benefits or welfare and oversees halfway houses, which help parolees reenter society. The halfway houses are also used by therapists, social workers, and psychiatrists. The field parole officer is responsible for his clients; therefore, he has to visit them regularly to evaluate their progress. Based on a parole officer’s recommendations, if a parolee violates the parole conditions given to him, he is most likely to be taken back to prison by the parole board.
In general, the field parole officer monitors the offender’s activities and ensures that they comply with the conditions of their release and society’s laws. Field contact is usually a personal visit conducted by a parole officer to monitor and supervise an offender. A field officer has to investigate and develop a release plan before a release is done (Vissing, 2017). They also assess and interview the parolees and come up with a case plan. They determine how the supervision of offenders will be managed while still meeting their rehabilitation needs. A juvenile needs regular alcohol or drug test, substance abuse treatment, electronic or GPS monitoring, or specialized sex offender treatment and supervision. Those intensive programs that need proper supervision require a field parole officer to be in charge of the field visits that include going to the offenders’ homes or at their places of employment.
In some cases, the field parole officer works with the case managers to verify that the offender has given the right address valid and suitable for him to live. Field parole officers also ensure that the offender gives the contacts and employment places legitimate for a proper follow-up. A field parole officer is responsible for leading offenders towards the everyday world that is crime-free and to ensure that they comply with court orders. Their duties mostly involve encouraging these offenders to live everyday life and supervise their behavior, ensuring they comply with their terms of release (Morgan, 2017). Again, the community organizations and the government assist them in meeting the offenders’ family members frequently as their supervision role expects, and to help these offenders gain an education, employment, and rehabilitation.
To become a thriving field parole officer, one has to have specific skills in that career profession. They include effective communication, which is very vital. It is a two-way process that involves excellent verbal and written communication and excellent listening and strong observation skills. They are required to communicate with different people like the offenders, their families and peers, and other people linked to the offender, government, and other authoritative bodies. They are also expected to motivate the offenders, encouraging them not to give up and how easy it is to lead an everyday life and ensure that they comply with good behavior (Bares & Mowen, 2020). The second skill is critical thinking, which involves making logical decisions, reasoning, and pattern recognition. These skills motivate offenders toward living everyday life and leading a quality life. They also help to ensure that the offenders are following proper parole terms.
Field parole officers require these skills to assess whether the offender is fulfilling the release terms truly, and therefore, having intense observation and logical decision-making is essential. There are times that these officers are called upon by judges to recommend suggestions regarding parole terms. The third skill is a good organization. The field parole officers meet various offenders and not just one. They must have good organization skills to help them follow up on every offender since they have different release terms and conditions set by the court. They have to pay attention to details, multitask, and use the systems and processes proficiently. The case files have ton arranged and managed correctly, the paperwork has to be well organized, and information has to be reported with a lot of ease.
There are also those traits that a field parole officer must have to defend themselves or, instead, for self-defense. In most cases, the field parole officers can carry firearms if the agency determines that one is required. Whether the field parole officer carries the firearm in the field regularly or keeps it in case a situation appears risky, they have to undergo proper training on the proper use of firearms. Self-defense training involves martial art techniques, which are essential in protecting themselves and restraining clients when the need arises (Vîlcică, 2016). Also, they have to attend classes to help them get familiar with the federal, state, and local laws that regulate the jurisdiction in their areas to protect themselves from lawsuits and acquire the guidelines of the authority. The law must be followed when handling clients.
They also need to have the teamwork spirit for fieldwork to reduce the amount of risk of violence in the field parole officers. When a person is on that job, they have to be paired with a seasoned officer to learn how to minimize conflicts. A filed parole officer should be able to be in contact with the support through two-radio communications or emergency cell phone contacts that will receive calls while in the field or visiting the clients in their homes. Teamwork is also necessary when the officer is called to a critical situation that involves one of the parole clients. The officer has to alert the supervisor and local law enforcement. If there is any trouble encountered or suspected to happen (Meredith, Hawk, Johnson, Prevost & Braucht, 2020). Risky situations in the field can distract the officers making them forget the safety protocols.
In conclusion, a field parole officer can follow several preventive protocols to reduce risks with different offenders. Electronic monitoring devices can help them keep track of offenders without having to check up on them physically as often. Those electronic devices are urinalysis tests and breathalyzers that recognize parole violations before they happen. In some cases, the field parole officers are forced to give counseling and other community resources to help their clients deal with various challenges they face as they reenter the community, such as poverty, unemployment, and domestic abuse. It is up to the agency to put in place safety precautions or protocols that call-in available backup support to resolve any danger involved.
Vissing, Y. (2017). Parole Officers. The Encyclopedia of Juvenile Delinquency and Justice, 1-5.
Morgan, K. (2017). 16, Parole Process and Practice. Routledge Handbook of Corrections in the United States.
Bares, K. J., & Mowen, T. J. (2020). Examining the Parole Officer as a Mechanism of Social Support During Reentry From Prison. Crime & Delinquency, 66(6-7), 1023-1051.
Meredith, T., Hawk, S. R., Johnson, S., Prevost, J. P., & Braucht, G. (2020). What Happens in Home Visits? Examining a Key Parole Activity. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 47(5), 601-623.
Vîlcică, E. R. (2016). Challenges in parole supervision: Views from the field. Corrections, 1(4), 266-292.