Community Corrections Officer

   Government and Defence

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Community Corrections Officers supervise offenders placed on community-based supervision orders by the courts. They work with offenders placed on probation, parole, community service and home Future Growth Strong detention, using counselling and intervention strategies to promote law abiding behaviour and reduce the chance of re-offending.

Probation or parole officers monitor and work with people serving probation, parole, community service and home detention orders.

They work closely with offenders to develop a case management plan, helping them meet their goals by arranging employment and education, and providing other necessary assistance. Community corrections officers conduct regular interviews with their clients to assess, monitor and report on their progress.

The role of a probation and parole officer (PPO) within Community Corrections is both fast paced and dynamic.Talking with Prisoner before release

PPOs work as part of a team to supervise adult and youth offenders who have been sentenced to a court order or have been released from a correctional centre on a parole order. As a PPO, you will work with offenders to ensure they understand the order and the conditions they must comply with while encouraging positive changes in their behaviour. You will complete assessments on offenders and make reports for the court and the Parole Board.

ANZSCO ID: 411714

Alternative names: Parole or Probation Officer, Probation and Parole Officer

Knowledge, skills and attributes

A community corrections officer needs:

  • excellent interpersonal skills

  • excellent communication skills

  • good problem solving ability

  • maturity, patience, tolerance and discretion

  • the ability to lead, inspire and motivate others

  • resilience

You will need: With Client

  • an ability to develop rapport and build effective professional working relationships with a diverse range of people

  • strong report writing and administration skills

  • highly developed written and oral communication skills

  • excellent problem solving and time management skills

  • high integrity and resilience

  • an understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and demonstrated ability to relate to people from diverse backgrounds.

Duties and Tasks

  • write reports for magistrates and judges to assist with sentencing decisions

  • write risk assessments for parole review boards

  • develop case management plans in consultation with offenders

  • use counselling and intervention strategies to promote law abiding behaviour

  • run programs for offenders to support rehabilitation and employment prospects

  • help prepare prisoners for release

  • conduct regular interviews with clients to assess, monitor and report on their progress

  • work closely with other agencies such as the police or social services.

  • manage and supervise offenders who have received community- based supervision orders (community service, home detention, probation or parole, for example) and ensure that they comply with the relevant order conditions

  • monitor home detainees by means of home visits and electronic monitoring technology, and report all breaches of conditions

  • develop and implement community-based work programmes

  • assess suitability, placement and management of offenders granted community service orders and fine option orders

  • interview offenders, their families, employers and educators to obtain information

  • submit reports and recommendations on whether parole should be granted

  • provide advice to assist the courts in determining the suitability of offenders to be placed on community-based orders

  • assist offenders to obtain employment

  • identify the risks and needs of offenders and refer them to appropriate programmes and/or external agencies

  • advise parolees and those on community-based orders on matters such as education, employment, finance, housing and other community services that may assist in their rehabilitation

  • conduct regular interviews with offenders and report on their progress

  • maintain contact with families to help solve problems of readjustment and rehabilitation

  • assist in preparing briefs for prosecuting offenders who fail to comply with community-based orders or breach parole conditions

  • maintain and develop offender records and administrative procedures

  • take part in staff development and training programmes, and provide training to new staff

  • participate on various committees to assist in policy, practice and community development

Working Conditions

They may regularly have to deal with challenging situations, including working with potentially abusive clients. The hours of work may vary significantly, with some community correction officers required to work nights and/or on weekends so they can visit clients at home.

Tools and technologies

Community corrections officers use a range of standard office equipment, including computers, phones, printers and photocopiers. They may also be required to hold a current drivers licence, to travel to visit offenders, offenders' families and other involved parties at their homes and/or workplaces.

Education and training/entrance requirements
At work

To become a community corrections officer with the Department of Corrective Services you must pass the recruitment process and complete the Correctional Officers Foundational Program training course. Applicants must be Australian or New Zealand citizens or a Permanent Resident.

The selection assessment includes an identification check, selection panel interview, psychological interview, a criminal history screening and an integrity check. Applicants may need to hold a current ‘C’ Class driver’s licence.

Successful applicants are then required to complete a six-month paid training program at the Department’s Training Academy. After completing this training, community corrections officers are awarded the nationally recognised Certificate III in Correctional Practice (Community).

Entry into this occupation may be improved by completing a degree majoring in behavioural science, justice studies or a related area.


Did You Know?

What are the different types of community-based supervision orders?

Courts may use a variety of sentencing options. These include:

probation order - May be used instead of or combined with a prison sentence. The offender must report to an authorised officer, must not commit another offence, and must take part in counselling and programs as directed. Offenders are not allowed to leave the State without permission and must notify an authorised officer of any change of address or employment.

intensive correction order - Prison sentences served in the community. Offenders are subject to intensive supervision and must report twice a week to their supervisor. Offenders must also attend rehabilitation programs or counselling, and perform community service. Offenders who fail to comply are returned to court for breach action.
(Source: Queensland Corrective Services)

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