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SOC Code: 21-1092


Pay Band(s): 4            (Salary Structure)


Standard Occupational Description: Provide social services to assist in rehabilitation of law offenders in custody or on probation or parole. Make recommendations for actions involving formulation of rehabilitation plan and treatment of offender, including conditional release and education and employment stipulations.

Correctional Treatment Specialist positions in the Commonwealth are assigned to the following Roles in the Counseling Services Career Group:


Counselor II


Although Correctional Treatment Specialist positions in the Commonwealth primarily are located in the Counseling Services Career Group, individuals may want to pursue other related opportunities depending upon individual education, training and experience.


Correctional Treatment Specialists also have career opportunities in the following Career Group(s):


Probation and Parole

Program Administration

General Administration

Law Enforcement


(Technical and Functional Expertise)



Note: The technical and functional skills listed below are based on general occupational qualifications for Correctional Treatment Specialists commonly recognized by most employers.  Typically, you will not be required to have all of the skills listed to be a successful performer.  Recruitment and selection standards for an individual state job must be based on the specific knowledge, skills, and abilities for that job as indicated in the job announcement and job description in the Employee Work Profile.


1.      Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

2.      Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

3.      Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

4.      Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

5.      Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

6.      Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

7.      Talking to others to convey information effectively.

8.      Managing one's own time and the time of others.

9.      Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

10.  Teaching others how to do something.



Note: The technical and functional knowledge statements listed below are based on general occupational qualifications for Correctional Treatment Specialists commonly recognized by most employers.  Typically, you will not be required to have all of the knowledge listed to be a successful performer.  Recruitment and selection standards for an individual state job must be based on the specific knowledge, skills, and abilities for that job as indicated in the job announcement and job description in the Employee Work Profile.


The Knowledge of:


1.      Human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.

2.      Laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.

3.      Relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.

4.      Principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.

5.      Group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.

6.      Structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

7.      Principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.

8.      Principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.



Note: The technical and functional abilities listed below are based on general occupational qualifications for Correctional Treatment Specialists commonly recognized by most employers.  Typically, you will not be required to have all of the abilities listed to be a successful performer.  Recruitment and selection standards for an individual state job must be based on the specific knowledge, skills, and abilities for that job as indicated in the job announcement and job description in the Employee Work Profile.


The Ability to:


1.      Communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.

2.      Tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.

3.      Listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.

4.      Apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.

5.      Speak clearly so others can understand you.

6.      Combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).

7.      Identify and understand the speech of another person.

8.      Communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.

9.      See details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).

10.  Read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.



Note:  The following is a list of sample tasks typically performed by Correctional Treatment Specialists.  Employees in this occupation will not necessarily perform all of the tasks listed. 


1.      Prepare and maintain case folder for each assigned inmate or offender.

2.      Write reports describing offenders' progress.

3.      Inform offenders or inmates of requirements of conditional release, such as office visits, restitution payments, or educational and employment stipulations.

4.      Discuss with offenders how such issues as drug and alcohol abuse, and anger management problems might have played roles in their criminal behavior.

5.      Gather information about offenders' backgrounds by talking to offenders, their families and friends, and other people who have relevant information.

6.      Develop rehabilitation programs for assigned offenders or inmates, establishing rules of conduct, goals, and objectives.

7.      Develop liaisons and networks with other parole officers, community agencies, staff in correctional institutions, psychiatric facilities and after-care agencies in order to make plans for helping offenders with life adjustments.

8.      Arrange for medical, mental health, or substance abuse treatment services according to individual needs and/or court orders.

9.      Provide offenders or inmates with assistance in matters concerning detainers, sentences in other jurisdictions, writs, and applications for social assistance.

10. Arrange for post-release services such as employment, housing, counseling, education, and social activities.




Like people, occupations have traits or characteristics.  These characteristics give important clues about the nature of the work and work environment, and give you an opportunity to match your own personal interests to a specific occupation.  When you choose a job in an occupation that matches your own interests you have taken an important step in planning a successful and rewarding career.


The Correction Treatment Specialist occupation has the following characteristics:


Social — Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.

Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.



Generally this is not required for Correctional Treatment Specialist positions in state government.


Certification information can be found on the web site for the Commission on Rehabilitation Counselor Certification.


Certification enhances professional growth and career progression.




The Department of Labor provides the following information:


Correctional treatment specialists, who may also be known as case managers, counsel prison inmates and help them plan for their release from incarceration.


Correctional treatment specialists work in correctional institutions (jails and prisons) or in parole or probation agencies. In jails and prisons, they evaluate the progress of inmates. They also work with inmates, probation officers, and other agencies to develop parole and release plans. Their case reports are provided to the appropriate parole board when their clients are eligible for release. In addition, they plan education and training programs to improve offenders' job skills and provide them with coping, anger management, and drug or sexual abuse counseling either individually or in groups. They usually write treatment plans and summaries for each client. Correctional treatment specialists working in parole and probation agencies perform many of the same duties as their counterparts who work in correctional institutions.


Background qualifications for Correctional Treatment Specialists vary by State, but a bachelor's degree in social work, criminal justice, or a related field from a 4-year college or university is usually required. Some employers require previous experience or a master's degree in criminal justice, social work, psychology, or a related field.


Applicants usually are administered written, oral, psychological, and physical examinations. Some correctional treatment specialists are required to complete a training program sponsored by their State government or the Federal Government, after which a certification test may be required.


Prospective Correctional Treatment Specialists should be in good physical and emotional condition. Most agencies require applicants to be at least 21 years old and, for Federal employment, not older than 37. Those convicted of felonies may not be eligible for employment in this occupation.


A graduate degree, such as a master's degree in criminal justice, social work, or psychology, may be helpful for advancement.


Sources of training, and learning opportunities include:

  1. International Association of Rehabilitation Professionals (IARP)
  2. The National Rehabilitation Counseling Association (NRCA)
3.      National Board for Certified Counselors and Affiliates (NBCC)



Competencies are a set of identified behaviors, knowledge, skills, and abilities that directly and positively impact the success of employees and the organization. Competencies can be observed and measured.  When consistently demonstrated, competencies make employees particularly effective in their work.  Competencies help lay out a road map to career success.  You can use the Commonwealth Competencies to help improve your individual performance by adopting behaviors that make high performing employees successful in their jobs. In this way, you can use the Commonwealth Competencies for your further professional development.


The Commonwealth Competencies are:


1.      Technical and Functional Expertise

2.      Understanding the Business     

3.      Achieving Results

4.      Serving the Customer

5.      Teamwork

6.      Interpersonal and Communication Skills

7.      Leadership and Personal Effectiveness


The above competencies may be applied to employees throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia.  They can be rank-ordered by agencies and hiring managers to represent the needs of a specific job.  The rank ordering will change depending upon the occupation, an organization's priorities, the actual job requirements, and the supervisor's preferences. 


Career success is both about what you do (applying your technical knowledge, skills, and ability) and how you do it (the consistent behaviors you demonstrate and choose to use) while interacting and communicating with others.  Hopefully, by studying the Commonwealth competencies, identifying your developmental opportunities, and working to refine your own competence, you can take charge of your career!


For additional information about the Commonwealth Competencies go to:  For the competencies, we first list the competencies and then define each.  Finally, we list competency indicators; to describe what successful performance looks like. 




Career opportunities in the Commonwealth are not limited to moving “up” to the next highest role and pay band, changing positions, or to becoming a supervisor.  That's because most roles describe a broad group of occupationally related positions that perform a range of work that requires increased knowledge and skills.  For that reason, Commonwealth roles describe the career paths within the same or higher-level role for the same or different Career Group.  The broad salary range and the Commonwealth's pay practices provide flexibility in recognizing career development and advancement. (Salary Structure)


For example: Correctional Treatment Specialists







Counselor II






Counselor Manager




Sample Career Path


Counselor II

The Counselor II role provides career tracks for correctional treatment specialists who provide the full range of counseling and case management activities. Employees independently develop, implement, and maintain individualized treatment, vocational, employment, service, discharge, or rehabilitation plans for clients and serve as members of interdisciplinary teams.


Counselor Manager

The Counselor Manager role provides career tracks for managers who direct programmatic and administrative functions related to the provision of counseling services as well as monitoring the delivery of services, coordinating budget development, and developing, interpreting, and implementing policies.




O*NET (Occupational Information Network)


Virginia Employment Commission


Career One Stop

Virginia Career Resource Network


American Probation and Parole Association


American Correctional Association