Juvenile Probation Certification and Diploma Programs
Juvenile probation officers work with children and adolescents who have been convicted of crimes. They meet with the offenders and with their families, helping them stay out of further trouble. Some community colleges and vocational schools offer diplomas in juvenile justice. Most states require juvenile probation officers to meet unique certification requirements.
Juvenile Justice Diploma
Diploma programs in juvenile justice teach students to work with and rehabilitate youths who have committed crimes. Students learn about a variety of topics, including juvenile probation, the justice system and the sociology of juvenile crime. Most programs offer internship opportunities through which students work with professionals in the field.
Incoming students are often subject to a background check and drug screening. Some programs are designed for people who've completed previous educational or employment experience in criminal justice and want to specialize in juvenile justice. Those who apply without previous college experience need to have strong communication and writing skills.
Courses in juvenile justice diploma programs focus on rehabilitating youths who have been convicted of crimes. Many programs are interdisciplinary, offering courses in psychology, sociology and composition along with courses on corrections and justice. Students often learn about the topics noted below:
- Criminal law
- Juvenile processing
- Developmental psychology
- Juvenile social work
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
According to Payscale.com, the middle half of all probation officers, including those working with juveniles, earned between $31,406 and $46,708 a year, as measured in April of 2010. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov) predicted job growth of about 19% between 2008 and 2018 for all types of probation officers.
Certification and Continuing Education Information
Certification requirements for juvenile probation officers vary, but most states require a bachelor's or master's degree in criminal justice, psychology or a related field. Many states also administer written, oral and psychological exams to ensure that candidates are fit to work with juvenile offenders. Depending on the state of employment, new hires may be required to complete a supervised probationary period before being hired permanently.
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