How to Become a Juvenile Probation Officer

The job of a juvenile probation officer is to supervise juveniles who have been adjudicated delinquent or undisciplined in court and are placed on probation or protective supervision by the presiding judge. They work very closely with law enforcement, social services, schools and parents to help juveniles become successful.

The juvenile probation officer has many responsibilities. Their primary task is to supervise the youth on their case loads for compliance with the court’s orders. Juvenile probation officers conduct regular visits with the juveniles under their supervision at home, school, work, and other areas of the community in which the juvenile frequents. These visits may be weekly or monthly depending on the level of supervision imposed by the court. The juvenile probation officer (JPO) is also charged with the task of making referrals to community resources for interventions for the youth and his/her parents. The JPO may conduct unannounced visits to check compliance with curfew, conduct random drug screens and monitor the whereabouts of the juveniles on his/her caseload. In addition, if the juvenile is placed on electronic monitoring, the JPO is charged with the task of installing the equipment, attaching the monitor to the individual and monitoring the juvenile’s activities.

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How to Become a Juvenile Probation Officer

First, JPOs usually work for the state and most states require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, social work, psychology, education or human services. Second, the JPO should possess the skills necessary to work with at-risk youth. He/she should be familiar with community resources and how to develop a plan of action that will address the needs of the juvenile beyond merely the charges. The JPO must be able to work with various government and social agencies. Finally, the JPO must also be very familiar with state criminal laws as well as the juvenile code for the state in which he/she works and a criminal justice degree will help here.

Juvenile Probation Officer Salary

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the median pay for probation officers and correctional treatment specialists is $48,190 per year.1 Individual salary can depend on the location of the position, the types of cases processed, and the individual’s educational and experience levels.

Juvenile Probation Officer Career Outlook

For all probation officers and correctional treatment specialists the BLS expects an employment decrease of 1% for the decade from 2012-2022.1 Many of the job openings will be due to replacements for retirement or other reasons.

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References:
1. Bureau of Labor Statistics: http://www.bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/probation-officers-and-correctional-treatment-specialists.htm

Page Edited by Charles Sipe.