How to Become a Probation Officer in Texas

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A probation officer supervises offenders in the community, saving taxpayers the cost of incarcerating these offenders in a correctional facility. A Texas probation officer differs from a parole officer because he or she will find employment through a local community justice supervision agency. (See Reference 1) Even though an applicant must satisfy local agency employment requirements, he must also meet Texas statutory requirements. For example, a candidate must be at least 18 with no felony conviction (or with a felony sentence terminated at least 15 years ago).

Things You'll Need

  • College transcripts
  • High school diploma or GED

Meet Minimum Requirements

  • To work as a probation officer (or community supervision officer) either for adults or juveniles, you must be 18.

  • Obtain a high school diploma or a general educational development (GED) diploma. In order to work for some counties as a probation officer, an applicant may need to complete at least 60 college credits, an associate's degree or a bachelor's degree. A county government may require a degree to be in a field such as criminal justice, public administration or human services.

  • Don't get a felony conviction or, if you do, be sure the sentence terminated at least 15 years ago. Ensure no criminal charges are pending against you and that you are not on probation.

Application

  • Obtain an application from a county government. The hiring department may be called an adult probation department, a juvenile probation department, a community justice department or a community supervision department.

  • Prepare application materials, including appropriate transcripts for high school and college education.

  • Sign an application acknowledging consent to background checks and pre-employment testing.

  • Complete criminal background check, employment background check and education background check.

  • Pass a drug test, a psychological test and a physical examination..

Employment

  • Be sworn in as a probation officer for a local community justice supervision department (for adults or juveniles).

  • Complete on-the-job training.

  • Keep your criminal history clear. Avoid relationships with probationers and families that would create a conflict of interest.

  • Fulfill all other requirements for public employment specified by the local community justice supervision department.

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References

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