A juvenile probation officer acts as an intermediary between the justice system and the minor offender whose age is not yet accepted to be jailed. They are the persons who supervise the rehabilitation of the young offender and they provide behavioral monitoring and counseling. These officers also help the offender to improve the way he/she lives by having a discussion with the offender’s family.
Other duties of a juvenile probation officer include:
- Screening of juvenile cases. This involves interviews and judgment of the juvenile in question
- Conduct investigations prior to the youth’s sentencing. This lets the officer be a witness as to what kind of supervision or probation a juvenile offender should get.
- Supervise the young offender undergoing probation and ensuring that juveniles who are placed on probation obey their probation rules, and receive appropriate services.
- Oversee cases involved in the formal court process. It includes preparation of a written report about the offender’s information.
- Responsible for the case management of adjudicated minors and their families concerning court ordered plans and services.
- Provide victim support and restoration services for the Court, and is committed to a working partnership with law enforcement, schools, and community agencies to lessen other wrong activities.
- Monitors the youth and family’s cooperation in following the Court’s orders
- Provide minor offenders the opportunity to learn the community laws and orders to ensure that they would be aware of the things they won’t do again.
- Take part in the regular training programs that the offender will undergo.
- Motivates adolescents to have a better life and avoid unnecessary activities that will hinder them from living right.
- After the probation period, juvenile probation officers still conduct regular visits with the juveniles under their supervision at home, school, work, and other areas of the community where the juvenile frequently go. These visits may be weekly or monthly depending on the Court’s order.
- They may also conduct random drug tests, curfew compliance, and other whereabouts of the juvenile.
Employment for probation officer and correctional specialist is expected to increase by 18% in 2018. This is according to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics. The work environment of a juvenile probation officer differs based on job duties. Some may do office work, while others are in the field work. They also work in the field of investigation.
Field work presents more of a challenge as a probation officer. They may have to walk in a hot, cold, rainy, and snowy weather. This job also requires mental abilities such as making quick decisions, dealing with angry or unpleasant people, knowing law and government constitution, public safety, psychology, problem sensitivity, inductive reasoning, and documentary activities.
Mandatory Sentencing guidelines in 1980 and 1990 called for longer sentences and reduced parole to some offenses, resulting in more prison population. However, these guidelines have been reconsidered due to budget, court decision and prison overcrowding. As guidelines were reduced, offenders with low risk cases may result in less prison time and more community-based corrections.
Many job openings will be created because in the coming years as large numbers of retirees will be replaced. This occupation is not attractive to some entrants because of heavy workloads and high stress. For these reasons, job opportunities will be excellent for those who qualify.
Those who are employed under the general category of probation officers and correctional treatment specialist including juvenile probation officers may expect an average annual salary of $46,000. Some jobs with related titles earn the following:
- Juvenile Investigations Assistant- $39,000
- Adult Probation Officer- $59,000
- Specialized Probation Officer Juvenile- $51,000
- Juvenile Justice Detention Officer- $38,000
- Deputy Probation Officer- $48,000
- Senior Juvenile Probation Officer- $40,000
- Probation Officer Juvenile Investigation- $43,000
- Juvenile Justice Resource Supervisor- $53,000
- Treatment Probation Officer Juvenile- $52,000
- Juvenile Probation Parole Officer- $51,000
- Juvenile Justice Officer-$50,000
- Probation Parole Officer- $44,000
- Probation Officer- $43,000
- Chief Probation Officer- $92,000
With the promising career outlook for this occupation, do you have what it takes to be a Juvenile Probation Officer?