Juvenile Probation Officer Step By Step 2023 Career Guide
A Juvenile Probation officer is in charge of supervising the youth who have been put on parole or probation because they have committed a crime. Juvenile probation officers meet these youngsters and their families and do research into their family and social history. The juvenile probation officers have responsibility of monitoring these offenders and ensure that they are in compliance with the parameters set by the juvenile courts. They also coordinate with the court and families of the juvenile’s in order to eliminate the behavioural issues.
If a youngster does not follow the directions of court, the Juvenile officer is responsible for advising the judge to take alternative measures and treatments. As juvenile probation officers have better information about the individual, therefore the judge seeks advice from them.
Juvenile probation officers usually work in parole or probation agencies. They can also work in juvenile detention centers where the progress of convicted youngsters is being monitored. The number of clients a juvenile probation officer has varies depending upon his jurisdiction and the agency he works for. In areas with less population a Juvenile officer will have few clients whereas if the Juvenile probation officer is working in densely populated area his clients may vary between 20 to 100.
Make a Difference in a Troubled Child’s Life, Train as a Juvenile Probation Counsellor
Finding the balance between nurturing and discipline is challenging, but that’s precisely what a juvenile probation counsellor must do. They act on behalf of any juvenile offenders to ensure that they are adequately monitored in a way that is in both the state’s best interest and the child. They also provide counsel for both the families and the courts in terms of being a support system and making recommendations on further actions. A juvenile probation counsellor or youth corrections counsellor is an essential role in the proper discipline and incarceration of minors, and as such it is seeing a rapid increase in new jobs compared to other careers in criminal justice, with an estimated salary range of $44,000-$86,000 a year according to indeed.com. The amount of training and experience you have to play a large role in the salary bracket and potential jobs open to you, so be sure to identify your career objectives to obtain the requirements.
There are different levels of education that you can achieve to be eligible to work in this field; the minimum being a bachelors degree in a subject like psychology, criminal justice, counselling, social work or something else relevant. The criminal justice degree is optional but strongly recommended. These degrees can be obtained online if you search for schools like the University of Phoenix Online or South University. Still, to be granted more opportunities, it is best to hold a masters degree. This will open up many more jobs with more advanced responsibilities and skill requirements and translate in a higher salary. It is also preferential to have at least a year of work experience in the field, so you should at least volunteer at a youth group home or probation department if not professional.
What to Expect on the Job
A juvenile probation counsellor will mostly interview everyone involved with the child in question to assess the situation and make recommendations about where he or she should be placed. They will talk to the family, the child himself, the school, the police, and social workers to aid in the minor’s rehabilitation, protection, and discipline. They will then present their evaluations and suggestions to the court, supervise meetings concerning the child, prepare documentation about the assessment and testify in court. Those with masters degrees can also take on further responsibilities by counselling drug and alcohol abusers, anger management and mental health counselling. This may be done by developing and implementing programs for minors or even supporting family members. The bottom line is that a juvenile probation counsellor will do everything possible to ensure the minor is appropriately supervised and punished and help the minor get himself out of trouble and find help.
Job Duties of Juvenile probation officer
The day to day responsibility of a Juvenile probation officer is to investigate cases, interview parent or guardians, lawyers or other individuals representing Juveniles. The juvenile probation officers also attend court hearings, advice the judge and prepare pre dis-positional reports.
Other responsibilities of Juvenile probation officer are to ensure that the youth appears on court hearings and pay the fines on time. The juvenile probation officer has the authority to take drug test of the youngsters and search their property. Moreover the juvenile probation officer has to arrange counselling sessions on anger management, social skills and drugs abuse.
Finally, the Juvenile probation officers provide crisis intervention and remain on call every movement in case an emergency arise.
What Does It Take To Become A Juvenile Probation Officer
A report of bureau of labour statistics stated that a minimum of bachelor’s degree is required to become a juvenile probation officer. However a master’s degree can help you in quick advancement and promotions within an agency.
Common undergraduate courses which will help you in your career as juvenile probation officer are:
- Bachelors in criminal justice
- Bachelors in psychology
- Bachelors in sociology
- Bachelors in social work
- Bachelors in behavioural sciences
If you have done an internship with a correctional facility it will enhance your experience and will lead you to better position and salary. Moreover a successful internship with certification will enhance your employment opportunity once you have completed the graduation.
Becoming A Juvenile Probation Officer Additional Requirements
Most agencies which hire juvenile probation officers conduct a written and oral test which is compulsory to pass. Moreover psychological and medical examination of the candidate is also being done by the agencies before hiring them. Another additional requirement is that, the applicant for the post of juvenile probation officer must have a valid driving license.
The history of an applicant is also checked in the hiring process. A candidate with previous felonies is automatically ineligible for the job of juvenile probation officer.
The newly hired people have to go through a training program which is sanctioned by state and federal government. The juvenile probation officer needs to develop strong communication skill in order to communicate with the youth and other social service professionals
Steps for becoming a juvenile probation officer
Juvenile probation officers usually work for state agencies and the minimum requirement for the job is a bachelor’s degree. Some agencies only require a bachelor’s degree while others might be looking for an experienced person as an adult juvenile probation officer. Usually a minimum 21 years of age is required to apply for the job of juvenile probation officer.
If you expect to become a juvenile probation officer, here are some steps which will lead you to the position:
Obtain a bachelors or master’s degree in criminal justice or related field.
Apply for the job as juvenile probation officer
Appear in the test and interview for the position
Take and pass drug test and background check
Be hired as juvenile probation officer
Complete state training program and get certification
Work as a trainee for up to one year before getting permanent.
Training of Juvenile probation Officer
The training of Juvenile probation officer varies depending upon the agency the work for. For example In Texas the intake probation officer is required to complete 40 hours of basic training course through the correctional management institute of Texas. The training duration may vary depending upon the state in which you are working.
But the overall focus of the training is to make the trainees understand the psychological and behavioral issues of the youngsters. The youngsters usually have an aggressive attitude which is difficult to deal; therefore the trainees have to learn a procedural way of dealing the aggressive attitude.
The comprehensive training for juvenile probation officers includes the following topics:
Responsibilities of Juvenile probation officer
How to recognize mental health issues in Juveniles
Other helpful skills for Juvenile probation officers
If you are willing to pursue you career as juvenile probation officer you need to have strong communication skills which will help you in communicating and dealing with the juveniles and the adults. You must have a sound understanding of how to deal with the parents of the juvenile and others with whom you have to contact during your job.
A juvenile probation officer must possess the following attributes:
Must be familiar with the community resources.
Needs to know how to develop a program that will help a juvenile
Have the ability to work with various government and social agencies
Must have a strong understanding of state criminal laws and state’s Juvenile code
Must be physically fit and mentally stable.
Salary of Juvenile Probation officer
A Report of bureau of labour statistics states that the median salary for a juvenile probation officer is $53,020 per year. Apart from salaries there are various other benefits which are given to the juvenile probation officers. These benefits include health insurances, paid leaves, dental insurance and life insurance.
The salary of a Juvenile probation officer depends of several factors of which the most important ones are:
Location at which he works
The cases he has handled
The employment for the correctional treatment specialists and Juvenile probation officers is expected grow by 6% in the forthcoming years. So if you have planned you pursue you career as a juvenile probation officer, you are lucky enough that the employment opportunity for the occupation is expected to grow. The growth indicates that the graduates in this field will be immediately hired upon their completion of education.
Moreover there are expected retirements in the upcoming years which will vacate several positions on which fresh graduates will be preferred.
|Quick Facts: Probation Officers and Correctional Treatment Specialists
|2018 Median Pay
|$53,020 per year
$25.49 per hour
|Typical Entry-Level Education
|Work Experience in a Related Occupation
|Short-term on-the-job training
|Number of Jobs, 2018
|Job Outlook, 2018-28
|3% (Slower than average)
|Employment Change, 2018-28
Make a Positive Impact on Youth as a Probation Officer
Are you interested in a career that will allow you to make an actual difference in youth’s lives, but standing up in front of a classroom as a teacher is not right for you? If you want to impact youth positively, and you have an interest in the law, you might want to consider pursuing a career as a probation officer.
Also referred to as community supervision officers, probation officers are responsible for supervising people who have been put on probation. While this can technically include supervising adult offenders, you can gear your education toward specializing in juvenile offenders so you will be prepared to work with this population instead.
As a juvenile probation officer, you have a genuine opportunity to help prevent youth from growing into adult criminals. By working with youth before they have been sentenced for a crime, you have the opportunity to steer them in the right direction and to provide them with the guidance they need to avoid continuing with a life of crime.
To put juvenile offenders on the right path, probation officers have several different strategies that they may utilize. For example, you might require the youth to meet with you regularly, or you may make home visits, or you might visit the youth at work or school. As a probation officer, you might also put the youth in touch with community organizations that might prove beneficial. Some of these might include neighborhood youth groups, religious institutions, or rehabilitation groups. Depending upon the type or severity of the crime that the youth committed, they may also be placed on an electronic monitoring device. A youth who has skipped school repeatedly or who has run away from home, for example, may be required to wear one of these devices to monitor where he or she is at all times.
In addition to working directly with youth, your job as a probation officer will also require you to spend a great deal of time in court. Therefore, the legal knowledge you gain as you pursue a criminal justice degree will be crucial. Some of the legal duties you will be required to perform include:
- Investigating the backgrounds of the youth you are working with
- Writing pre-sentence reports
- Recommending sentencing
- Reviewing sentencing recommendations with the juvenile and his or her parents or legal guardians
- Testifying in court
- Attending hearings to provide updates on the progress of the juvenile offender
In addition to being a very satisfying job, working as a probation officer also provides a great deal of job security and an attractive income. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that probation officers’ employment opportunities are expected to grow faster than the average occupation.
- American Probation and Parole Association: An international organization dedicated to training and advocacy for probation and parole officers in both the adult and the juvenile justice systems.
- National Partnership for Juvenile Services: A national association promoting education and professional development to those who work with juveniles in the court system.
- Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention: A resource for those who want to gain a deeper understanding of the juvenile justice system.
1. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, Probation Officers and Correctional Treatment Specialists: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/probation-officers-and-correctional-treatment-specialists.htm