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Community & Field Services Position FAQs

by ACabello — last modified Jan 05, 2023 01:06 PM

Transforming Lives for the Safety of All

The Community and Field Services Division is responsible for community-based supervision of offenders who have been released from correctional facilities on parole, post-release supervision or conditional release, but who have not been discharged from their sentence. The Community and Field Services Division also includes the Interstate Compact Unit that is responsible for regulating the transfer and movement between states of adult felony parole and probation offenders under community supervision. The purpose of post-incarceration supervision is to contribute to public safety and to assist offenders in successfully reintegrating into the community.

Q: What is the difference between a Classified and Unclassified employee?

 A:  The State of Kansas has two categories of employees – classified and unclassified. 

Classified Employees: 

  • State of Kansas has established job specifications for all positions assigned to classified service.
  • Agencies may only hire classified employees utilizing state regulations and/or memorandum of agreement protocols. 
  • Pay is governed by the legislature and the Governor Directives and the pay is in accordance with a pay matrix approved by the Governor.
  • Classified employees are protected by civil service protocols. Formal discipline and/or termination may be reviewed by the Kansas Civil Service Board if the employee requests within established timeframes. The Civil Service Board may modify the agency decision. 
  • Parole Officers I, II and Supervisors are in classified service. 

Unclassified Employees

  •  The State of Kansas has established job titles for unclassified employees but these may vary from agency to agency.
  • Agencies may hire unclassified employees utilizing classified protocols or an offer may be extended without going through the interview process. 
  • Unclassified employees are appointed positions requiring approval to fill and, once an offer is extended, the amount must be approved by the Governor.    
  • There are no established pay ranges for unclassified employees. The Kansas Department of Corrections (KDOC) utilizes the classified pay matrix as a guideline.    
  • Unclassified employees are considered to be “at will,” they may be disciplined or discharged. 
  • The majority of employees at the Kansas Department of Corrections in unclassified service are: managers, administrative support and maintenance.    

Q: What does it mean to be exempt?

A: The federal Department of Labor has established guidelines which must be followed by all organizations, government and non-government, in determining the exempt or non-exempt status of employee. The category assigned is determined from an approved position description utilizing federal guidelines.

Non-exempt (or Hourly): 
Non-exempt employees are paid an agreed upon wage and are assigned to work an agreed upon number of work hours;

  • Hours worked over 40 in a work week are compensated at time and a half per hour for every hour worked.
  • The State of Kansas allows agencies to offer limited compensatory time in lieu of overtime.
  • States may pass legislation which allows for specific jobs to be on a different work week for overtime purposes. 
  • A non-exempt employee could be made exempt if changes are made to the position description or the federal guidelines. 
  • Changing a non-exempt employee to exempt in order to eliminate the need to pay time and a half carries severe penalties to the agency or company to include, but not limited to, paying back for all overtime that would have been worked the past two years. 
  • Parole Officer I and II are considered to be non-exempt and will receive overtime or compensatory time for all hours worked over 40 in a workweek. 

Exempt (or Salaried): 

  • Must be considered full-time and will receive the same amount of pay each paycheck regardless of the hours worked. 
  • Exempt employees are required to work a minimum number of hours a day, and if full-time, at least 40 hours a week. They are not paid more if they work 50 hours, and depending on the reason, at times if they do not work 40 hours, they are also paid the same. 
  • Employees who consistently fail to work at least 40 hours a week may be changed to non-exempt or hourly status and the above rules will apply.
  • Parole Supervisors are considered to be exempt.      

Q: As an applicant, what should I expect during the interview stage?

A: All applicants are screened by members of a Human Resources team utilizing an approved position description and guidelines from the managers and supervisors. Qualified applicants may be contacted to participate in one or more interviews. To be considered for employment, applicants must meet all required criteria and have submitted all documentation that is requested in the job posting. Most interviews are in a behavior-based format where the applicant would be asked how they have reacted in a specified set of circumstances. Role plays, written assignments or presentations may also be required as part of the interview process.

Q: What benefits does the Kansas Department of Corrections offer?

A: All full-time state employees contribute immediately to the KPERS retirement program and have several options available for health insurance that includes both dental and vision. Employees earn both sick and vacation leave, may have all Governor approved holidays off or be compensated for working on that day, and have an annual Discretionary Holiday to use as needed. Any State of Kansas programs (i.e., STAR) would also be made available to Department of Corrections employees. See State of Kansas website for currently available programs.

Q: Would I be working with juveniles?

A: Our population of offenders either are adults or have been convicted of a crime and adjudicated as an adult. The KDOC’s Juvenile Services Division primarily works with juvenile offenders.

Q: Would I be entering into the adult prisons to complete my job?

A: On occasion, Parole Officers may be required to visit an adult facility. It is encouraged to tour adult facilities to have a better understanding of the entire Department.

Q: Is my work schedule flexible?

A: With your supervisor’s permission, work schedules may be flexible typically after a Parole Officer fulfills his/her basic training requirements. Parole Officers may be required to work a ‘late night’ two nights per month.

Q: What would my caseload size be?

A: Caseload sizes vary greatly by offender populations, the Department’s needs, and your specific geographic location. The assessed risk level is also taken into consideration when distributing cases.

Q: What training is required?

A: New Parole Officers are required to complete 200 hours of training during their first year and 40 hours of training annually thereafter. Training can come in a variety of ways from informal job shadowing, formal classroom setting or online computer courses.   

Q: Is overnight travel required for training?

A: Parole Officer basic training is taught in a variety of locations, including but not limited to Olathe, Topeka and Wichita. Overnight travel may be required in some instances at no expense to the employee.

Q: Are company vehicles provided?

A: The Department provides vehicles during working hours at no expense to the employee so he/she may complete all necessary fieldwork and training requirements. 

Q: How long is my probationary period?

A: Probationary periods may vary but typically are nine months for a new state employee.

Q: Is my starting wage negotiable?

  A: The State of Kansas utilizes the state’s pay range/level system; therefore, the starting wage for a classified employee is not typically negotiable.

Q: What safety equipment is provided?

A: Once certified, Parole Officers have the option of carrying both Tasers and OC Spray.

Q: Would I be assigned a field partner?

A: All Parole Officers are encouraged to complete fieldwork with partners for officer safety.

Q: Am I able to carry my own personal firearm while on the job?

A: Where allowed by State of Kansas Law, Parole Officers are allowed to carry their own personal concealed firearm under certain circumstances as set forth in KDOC policy. Carrying a firearm is not a job requirement. Those who choose to carry a firearm do so for personal protection and not part of their job duties.

Q: Does the Kansas Department of Corrections offer an internship or volunteer program?

A: Yes, however programs vary by office. If interested in an internship or volunteer program, please contact the Kansas Department of Corrections Recruiter at 785-296--0041.

Q: What is the difference between Parole and Post Release offenders?

A: These two terms are often used interchangeably but Parole more accurately refers to those offenders sentenced for a crime prior to July 1, 1993 and are serving an indeterminate sentence while those sentenced after July 1, 1993 are considered on post-release supervision and serving a determinate sentence. For those on parole, the period of time on parole is determined by their performance and the date of ultimate release is decided by the Kansas Prisoner Review Board. For those on post-release supervision, its length is part of the sentencing court’s original sentence and cannot be modified except by good time awards. 

Q: As a Parole Officer, would I have arresting authority?

A: Though Parole Officers are considered Law Enforcement, the Kansas Department of Corrections does not allow arresting authority.

Q: What is an LSI-R?

A: The LSI-R (Level of Service – Revised) is an assessment tool used to gauge the likelihood of an offender re-offending. The LSI-R is administered upon entry into the KDOC system and then updated throughout the supervision term.

Q: What is TOADS and OMIS?

A: TOADS (Total Offender Accountability Document System) and OMIS (Offender Management Information System) are two of the Department’s current case management and data systems.

Q: As a Parole Officer, would I have to testify in court before a Judge?

A: Offenders on Parole/Post Release supervision are under the jurisdiction of the Secretary of Corrections and not a local judge. It is rare that a Parole Officer would have to testify in court. Parole Officers may be required to appear at revocation hearings held by the Kansas Prisoner Review Board.

Q: I have a family member who is or was formerly incarcerated – does this exclude me from employment?

A: Having a friend or family member in the KDOC system would not affect an applicant’s employment opportunities as long as accommodations could be made where the employee was not involved in the direct supervision/decision making of the family member. 

Q: Would a Parole Officer ever supervise somebody on probation?

  A: Parole Officers also may supervise probationers from other states via the Interstate Compact Agreement. 

Q: What does a typical workday look like for a Parole Officer?

    A: While a Parole Officer’s primary concerns are ensuring both public and victim safety, the majority of their work day often includes the following: responding to release plan investigations, conducting home and field contacts, making computer entries, report writing, substance abuse testing, responding to violations, and using evidenced-based practices and case management tools/strategies to help motivate offenders into making the necessary changes to support a pro-social and law-abiding lifestyle.


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