Atlanta, GA - The first class of dual certified probation and parole officers in Georgia took the oath of office today, after graduating from an eight week training course. The ceremony was held at State Offices South in Forsyth. Sixty-two officers completed the course. Fourteen officers work for the State Board of Pardons and Paroles. The officers will be certified as Probation/Parole Officers by the Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council (P.O.S.T.).

State Board of Pardons and Paroles Chairman Albert Murray delivered commencement remarks.

Chairman Murray told the officers that they were probably the best trained and equipped community supervision officers to graduate training in Georgia because of the dual certification.

“This joint training class is another example of the partnership between the Parole Board and the Department of Corrections. These probation/parole officers will be an asset to their caseloads and to their respective communities,” said Murray.

Graduate and Americus Parole Officer Joseph Dew addressed his classmates and said their commitment to serve the public contained the key word, “serve.”

“When serving the public remember that not only references your family and your community, but also the probationer or parolee who sits across from you and the officer who stands beside you,” stated Dew.

He also called on his fellow officers to be the officer others depend on. “Be the officer who will step up to the plate when something needs to be done. Be the officer who chooses to make a difference each and every day,” said Dew.

Probation officers work for the Department of Corrections supervising offenders on probation in Georgia. Parole officers work for the State Board of Pardons and Paroles and supervise offenders released on parole. 

Through the dual certification, the State Board of Pardons and Paroles and the Department of Corrections eliminated the need for separate agency training courses. The training courses for both groups of officers were combined eliminating duplication while giving all officers training necessary to perform parole or probation supervision. Officers will only supervise offenders under their respective agency’s authority, however, and must still follow the policies and procedures of their employing agency which are different in some areas. Officers with the dual certification will be able to transfer or take positions with the other agency without having to complete another eight-week training course.

Other benefits of the dual certification include a much shorter wait time for parole officers to attend the basic training course as there will be an increase from two to six classes per year. This means hired parole officers will get into and complete a training course sooner and begin supervising a parole caseload, eliminating a wait period after their initial hire.  

The eight week course work includes supervision techniques, investigation procedures, intervention strategies, criminal and Georgia law, policy and procedure, interview skills, physical fitness, arrest procedures, defensive tactics, computer interaction and firearms qualification.

The Parole Board employs approximately 300 parole officers. Caseloads per officer average 75-85 parolees. Parole officers work to transition offenders back into the community using a balanced approach of surveillance and treatment intervention. Parole officers make scheduled and unscheduled visits to the parolees’ residences, employers and treatment providers to ensure compliance with supervision conditions.

The new parole officers will work in the following parole offices: Albany, Americus, Brunswick, Carrollton, Dalton, Gainesville, Jesup, Lawrenceville, Monroe, Savannah and Valdosta.

For more information on the Parole Board please contact the Public Affairs Office or visit our website at