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Corrections, Probation, & Parole
Corrections, Probation, & Parole
Career Opportunities and Work Life

With an education in corrections, probation, and parole, you have a wide variety of potential careers from which to choose in the judicial system. Some careers available with a certificate or associate's degree include:

  • Jail guard
  • Corrections officer

As a jail guard or corrections officer, you will be responsible for maintaining order within the facility and enforcing the rules and regulations. You will also monitor the activities and supervise the work assignments of inmates.

With a bachelor's degree, other careers you can pursue include:

  • Probation officer
  • Parole officer

Work Environment
Probation officers gather information about convicted offenders and assist judges in deciding a suitable sentence. They also work with offenders who have been sentenced to probation.

Parole officers work with people who have been released from prison before the end of their sentence by supervising them and counseling them.

These jobs are often located inside an institution or in an office. Travel is often required to meet with clients in their homes or at their workplace. Usually, one will specialize and work with either young people or adults. Parole and probation officers may handle anywhere from 20 - 300 clients at a time. They generally work a 40-hour workweek, but some may work longer. They may be on call 24 hours a day to oversee and help offenders at any time.

Projected Job Outlook
Job opportunities for probation officers and correctional treatment specialists are expected to be excellent through 2020 with the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projecting an 18 percent increase in jobs nationally. Michigan is expected to have a 10 percent increase in employment opportunities by 2018.

Increasing prison populations are putting pressures on prison systems meaning that more dangerous inmates have to be released on parole or turned over to probation to help deal with overcrowding. Many jurisdictions are testing other forms of intervention rather than jail-time in order to lower costs. An increase in intensive supervision is also raising a need for officers.

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