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Parole Service Associate: Education Requirements and Career Info

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a parole service associate. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about the schooling and job duties to find out if this is the career for you.

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A parole service associate in the California State Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation works with parolees and parole officers by attending hearings, creating reports and making recommendations. They need some college coursework and relevant experience.

Essential Information

A parole service associate is a position exclusively available in the California State Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. The job of a parole service associate is to act as an administrative liaison between the parolee and the parole office. Some postsecondary education and job experience is required for this position.

Required Education 15 semester units of education at a college or university
Required experience Either 1 year of administrative work in California service with responsibility equivalent to an office technician or 6 months of casework experience within the last 10 years with parolees
Projected Job Growth* 4% (2014-2024) for probation and correctional treatment specialists in the U.S. in general
Median salary $49,360 (2015) for probation and correctional treatment specialists in the U.S. in general*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Education Requirements

The California Department of Corrections requires 15 semester units of education at any college or university to work as a parole service associate. There is no specific course of study required, but coursework in criminal justice, psychology or sociology may be beneficial.

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Career Information

Job Skills and Duties

Parole service associates learn the majority of their skills through on-the-job training and in-house training programs. They learn a variety of methods used by the Department of Corrections to facilitate a parolee's re-entry into society. Their primary duty is to maintain databases of parolees including their home addresses, work addresses and contact information. They coordinate with departmentally approved rehabilitation facilities and monitor attendance records. These associates work to help parolees resolve work issues with employers, or gain employment through community outreach programs.

Some parole service associates with more experience attend parole hearings to provide reports based on database information and parole officer statements. At this level, parole service associates may be required to assess programs available to assist parolees, audit the status of the program, make recommendations for improvement or compliance with Department of Corrections standards, and return to ensure the corrections have been implemented.

This position requires a genuine desire to help the parolee return to society as a productive and law abiding citizen. The associate must be sensitive to the emotional problems the parolee may encounter as well as have an understanding of the impediments he or she may face. A parole associate should be able to recommend alternative job or rehabilitation counseling options to assist the parolee.

Advancement Opportunities

Parole service associates with a few years of experience are in a good position to become parole officers. In all states, a parole officer is considered an officer of the law and must complete some form of police or peace officer academy training upon acceptance. Those wishing to pursue a career as a parole officer should consider working towards a bachelor's degree in criminal law, psychology, or social work.

Salary and Job Outlook Information

According to the State of California Civil Service Pay Scale, as of 2015, the monthly compensation range for parole service associates was $3,727.00 - $4,631.00 for entry-level associates, $4,226.00 - $5,259.00 for mid-level associates and $4,835.00 - $6,017.00 for advanced associates. Salaries are dependent on experience and job duties. Job openings for probation and correctional treatment specialists all over the U.S. are projected to increase by 4% during the 2014-2024 decade, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Parole service associates work as civil servants in California, assisting parole officers in different ways, including administrative duties. More experience may lead to a position as a parole officer. Some college and work experience is required for this position.

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