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Correctional Treatment Specialist

Career Overview

Correctional treatment specialists may work in jails or prisons, or they may work in probation and parole offices. In jails, they evaluate inmates through observation, interviews and psychological tests. They work with parole officers in developing release plans for inmates who are through serving their sentences.

In a probation or parole office, correction treatment specialists develop activity requirements for those on probation or parole as well. They investigate education and employment options and write treatment summaries for each offender. Those plans provide benchmarks for the parole or probation officer assigned the case.

Education

A bachelors degree in criminal justice, psychology or a social science field is usually required. For some state and all federal positions a masters degree is required.  Previous experience can offset educational requirements in some circumstances. In some states there is a mandatory training program administered by the state that results in certification. Candidates will also undergo written and oral exams.

Current Employment

The Department of Labor provides a figure of 94,000 probation offices and correctional treatment specialists in the United States in 2006. Half or more of those are correctional treatment specialists, who work not only in a probationary environment but also in jails and prisons.

Job Outlook

Job opportunities for this position are expected to grow as fast as the overall rate of job growth, about 10% over the decade from 2006 - 2016. Correctional services are always subject to the budget constraints of states and localities, now under severe pressure due to the recession.

Salary Range

Lowest 10%  $13.65  $28,400
Median Salary  $21.40  $44,510
Highest 10%  $36.34  $75,790

Source: U.S. Department of Labor

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