Youth Correctional Counselor Job Description & Career Outlook

Youth correctional counselors work within law enforcement to counsel juvenile offenders and their families. They also act as a liaison between their clients and the courts, schools and prisons. They are typically employed by government correctional departments to work in juvenile detention centers or community programs.

Youth Correctional Counselor Requirements and Common Tasks

Youth correctional counselors help rehabilitate young offenders. Often the counselors work in a juvenile correctional facility, such as a detention center, where their duties include supervision of the offenders. This may involve enforcing discipline, making and maintaining records, and implementing constructive activity programs. Additionally, they recommend to juvenile courts the right destination for young offenders such as detainment, care homes or treatment programs. They also counsel juvenile offenders and their families, as well as provide specialized courses such as addiction recovery and anger management.

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The minimum requirements for someone training as a youth correctional counselor typically include a relevant bachelor’s degree in justice, social work or counseling. A medical check, no past felonies, a driver’s license and the legal right to use firearms are also essential. Military experience, supervisory roles or other positions of authority are often considered beneficial. Correctional counselors’ personalities are important as well. The ideal candidate is able to empathize with a juvenile offender’s problems, while remaining calm, stable and mature.

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Youth Correctional Counselor Salary, Job Outlook and Employers

The Bureau of Labor Statistics doesn’t report salary statistics for youth correctional counselors but it does provide information for the related occupation of probation officers and correctional treatment specialists which earn a median salary of $48,190 per year.1 The BLS projects employment growth of -1% for probation officers and correctional treatment specialists in the decade from 2012-2022.1 Further benefits may include health and dental coverage, sick and vacation pay and educational opportunities. Counselors can often specialize in a certain role, such as providing group therapy, and this requires further training. State or local governments are the main employers for youth correction counselors. The outlook for this field is stable with possible growth due to population increases and mandatory sentencing laws.

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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.