Ohio Probation Officers Training Marks First Anniversary
More than 550 probation and parole officers have completed nearly 3,200 training courses in the first year of new requirements, according to statistics released by the Ohio Supreme Court.
The Ohio Probation Officer Training Program began in January 2014, and was developed through a partnership of the Supreme Court, the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, and the Ohio Chief Probation Officers Association (OCPOA) to meet requirements of a new state law to standardize training, reduce recidivism, and increase public safety.
“Probation officers come into the field with a variety of experience and education. The curriculum our committee developed is designed to give new probation and parole officers a comprehensive orientation to working with offenders, and by focusing on the core basics, we were able to develop courses of benefit to both new and experienced officers,” said Kristopher Steele, program manager at the Ohio Judicial College.
The minimum training standards require adult probation and parole officers hired after Jan. 1, 2014, to complete 18 courses on a variety of probation-related topics within a year of their hire date. The courses, six in-person and 12 online, are designed to give an officer foundational information for their new profession. Topics include ethics, effective interventions with offenders, officer safety, risk assessment, and working with special populations like sex offenders.
“I am proud of the collaboration with the Ohio Supreme Court Judicial College and the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction in providing professional training to probation officers within the state of Ohio,” OCPOA President Melissa Litteral said. “The training curriculum has been well-received by the association’s members and provides officers with core training in the criminal justice system, the courts, and evidenced-based practices that will provide a broad foundation of knowledge to the new officers.”
Forty probation and parole officers have been trained to conduct the in-person trainings at four regional sites in the state: Akron, Columbus, Dayton, and Perrysburg. There were 48 live courses offered in the first year, and nearly half of the participants were from the general division of the common pleas courts.
Beginning July 1, the online courses will be offered through the Judicial College, which will mean free access for all Ohio probation and parole officers.
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