Juvenile Probation Officers: Job Description and Duties
Juvenile probation officers, sometimes referred to as juvenile correctional treatment specialists, work exclusively with adolescents who have been convicted of a crime and put on probation rather than being sentenced to jail time. Juvenile probation officers also work with underage individuals who have already served time in jail and been placed on parole.
Juvenile Probation Officer Job Description
Juvenile probation officers are in charge of supervising youths who have either been put on parole or probation for committing a crime. Juvenile probation officers meet with these adolescents and their families to perform assessments and research their family and social history. Juvenile probation officers are responsible for making regular visits to the youths' homes to make sure that they are in compliance with terms set by the juvenile court. They also work closely with each juvenile's family, as well the court system, to provide counseling for the juvenile and in an attempt to change or eliminate behavioral issues. In the event that a youth does not comply with his or her court order, the juvenile probation officer must then provide recommendations to the judge for alternate sentencing or treatments.
Juvenile probation officers usually work in probation or parole agencies, however, they can sometimes work in juvenile detention centers monitoring the progress of convicted juvenile delinquents. Depending their agency and jurisdiction, a juvenile probation officer's number of clients will vary. In smaller areas, a officer may work with only one or a few clients, while more populated areas might result in caseloads of 20 to over 100 youth.
Typical day-to-day job duties in this profession include investigating cases, interviewing parents, guardians, lawyers or other individuals representing a juvenile. Juvenile officers also recommend probation or parole terms to the judge, attend court hearings and prepare pre-dispositional reports and filing motions for probation violations. Other typical tasks may include ensuring that youths follow through on court appearances, community service or payment of fines; they may also be called upon to schedule drug tests and/or search a youth's property, or conduct counseling sessions covering such issues as anger management, social skills and drug abuse. Finally, they provide crisis intervention and remain on-call during nights and weekends should a crisis arise.
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