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Georgia Probation Officer?


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  • Georgia Probation Officer?

    Hi, I am currently 17 and attending high school. I am thinking about a career in law enforcement, specifically probation. I have a few questions that I would like someone who is involved in that career to answer.

    Is the pay decent?

    What do you do on a day-to-day basis?

    What is the training like?

    What sort of equipment are you issues? (IE: Take home car ect..)

    What should I plan to major in college?


  • #2
    Former Ga state P.O. here.

    Pay is decent (I believe it is just over $30k annually). However, some people in Atlanta or more expensive areas may argue that it is low. (in my area, that is a decent starting salary).

    Day to day will vary, based on your duties. I will answer based on how these apply here. Some offices around the state are different (as you can imagine, a large office in Fulton County would operate a bit differently than one in a small county with only a couple of employees on staff.)

    Here, there are two main types of probation officers.
    We have Presentence Investigators who interview defendants that are pleading guilty and type a thorough report for the judge to help him determine what type of sentence he would hand down. Our PSI guys would also attend court on sentencing days to document the sentence that the judge gives and refer the offender to an intake interview where they can meet their supervision officer and be explained their conditions (that is, if they receive a probated sentence).

    Supervision officers will monitor offenders' actions to ensure they are following the court's order while on probation. This is accomplished by doing home/job contacts, office contacts, drug screens, sending them to counseling or other services that may be deemed necessary, etc. Caseloads vary and offenders may require different levels of supervision based on how they fall in risk assessments. These officers will also attend court if their offender requires a revocation hearing.

    ....more answers on next post.....
    Last edited by brownj21; 05-07-2011, 08:12 AM.


    • #3
      Training is at the Georgia Public Safety Training Center (GPSTC) in Forsyth, Georgia. Back when I first came on, it was 4 weeks long, now I believe it is 6 weeks.

      There are no take home cars, but government cars are used for field contacts. You are issued all the standard equipment that you would need for field work-a firearm (Glock), ballistic vest, cuffs, etc etc etc.

      Your major doesnt matter, as long as you have the degree. I majored in Criminal Justice, but most people would advise against this. A lot of people major in something more valuable in the civilian business world, such as computer science and then minor in CJ. This is smart, because if the law enforcement career isnt your cup of tea, you have plenty of options for jobs.

      Another thing to consider is a second language. It is my understanding that they will now pay a decent stipend if you are fluent (probably only in Spanish at this point). It will also help you down the road if you want to get to the federal level or, again, change jobs.

      I would highly recommend that you go to your local state probation office and ask about an internship. This will allow you to see firsthand what they do and make an informed decision. Also, it will easily give you a leg up on all competition when it comes time to apply and get hired (assuming that you do good work for them during the internship).


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