Duties vary from one position to another.
Parole officers, in general, make recommendations regarding the initial placement in an appropriate federal penitentiary for any offender who receives a sentence of 2 years or more or a suspension of an original federal sentence. Parole officers also may:
- Investigate offenders’ past and present behaviours by interviewing other inmates, institutional authorities, police, family and friends of the offender
- Plan programs for offenders during their imprisonment
- Assess the suitability of penitentiary inmates for release under parole and statutory release, and submit recommendations to the National Parole Board
- Develop networks with other parole officers and social welfare and community agencies
- Liaise with staff in correctional institutions, psychiatric facilities and after-care agencies
- Supervise individuals who have been released on parole, day parole or statutory release
- Offer guidance and direction to parolees in dealing with job-related and personal problems
Parole supervisors work in the private sector. They are contracted to supervise parolees who live in communities and rural areas without Correctional Service of Canada offices.
Probation officers, in general, prepare presentence reports as requested by the court. These reports describe the offender’s criminal history, personal circumstances, social and cognitive skills, and mental health concerns. Probation officers make recommendations for sentence including conditions which may be imposed by a court order. They also:
- Gather information through interviews with offenders, police, family, friends, employers, school authorities and others to help the court determine appropriate sentences
- Gather information to assist in casework and the supervision of offenders
- Supervise individuals who have been released on pretrial release, peace bond or temporary pass from a correctional or young offender centre, and individuals sentenced by the court to probation, community service work or conditional sentences or supervision
- Administer and supervise individuals accepted to the alternative measures, extrajudicial sanctions and fine option programs
- Complete risk assessments