Presentation on theme: "Many people who end up working in the juvenile probation field never imagined they’d have a job as a juvenile probation officer. Sometimes it takes coming."— Presentation transcript:
Many people who end up working in the juvenile probation field never imagined they’d have a job as a juvenile probation officer. Sometimes it takes coming in contact with a distressed youth in the criminal justice system. A passion is kindled in the person to reach out and try to make a difference in a troubled youth’s life. Juvenile probation officers often start out working as social workers, in child and family services or as psychologists, required backgrounds for juvenile probation officers. Being motivated to find out more, the person hops online and discovers that a juvenile probation officer requires a Bachelor’s or in some cases, a Master’s degree in Criminal Justice or related field.
The educational requirements for probation officers vary by state, but most states require at least a bachelors in criminal justice. Some states also require aspiring probation officers to complete certification programs sponsored by the federal government or state governments. In addition to completing these basic requirements, potential probation officers should also have good computer skills, knowledge of state and federal laws, strong writing skills, excellent interpersonal skills, and good listening skills. Employers may require probation officers to have experience in parole, corrections, probation, substance abuse treatment, criminal investigations, counseling, or social work. Coursework in these areas can give some candidates an edge over candidates who have not completed similar coursework.
Specialized probation officer education programs typically include coursework in juvenile processes, adult criminal justice systems, probation terminology, information gathering, case law, statutes, fines and restitution, interviewing and counseling, gang affiliation indicators, and court reports and presentations. These courses help new probation officers develop the knowledge and skills they need for success on the job.
A specialized type of probation officer works specifically with juvenile offenders. In this role, the juvenile probation officer supervises youth offenders and participates in criminal investigations involving juvenile offenders. There is no specific degree for juvenile probation officers, but a degree in criminal justice or criminology can provide adequate preparation for this career. These degree programs include coursework in law enforcement principles, punishment and corrections, criminology, criminal procedure, juvenile delinquency, social deviance, criminal justice ethics, and the judicial system.
Completing a master’s degree in criminal justice prepares experienced probation officers for management positions within the probation and parole field. These programs cover budget planning, organizational administration, professional ethics, and theories of crime prevention. Someone who completes this type of degree may qualify for employment as a probation supervisor or the director of a probation services department.
These positions usually require less hands-on work with offenders and more administrative work in a probation office.
Develop a supportive relationship with the youth and serve as a positive role model Provide case management of children that have been placed on probation, parole, conditional release, etc. Maintain and update case files on all delinquent youth in accordance with the Department of Juvenile Justice standards Prepare and deliver reports to the court with recommendations for the treatment of juvenile offenders Meet with youth, family, school, and other agencies on a regular basis to ensure offenders' compliance Schedule drug testing, searches of the juveniles' room and property Verify that all of the youths' obligations to the court are met (community service, fines, court appearances, etc.) Ensure that juveniles are held accountable for violations by filing probation violations or imposing sanctions Update the judicial system on the progress of your offenders