Guide young offenders toward a lawful lifestyle.
What does a Juvenile Probation Officer do?
A Juvenile Probation Officer supervises juvenile offenders who have been sentenced to probation, either instead of prison or in combination with it as part of a reduced sentence. Unfortunately, criminals are like candies: They come in all shapes and sizes – including miniature. A Juvenile Probation Officer works with the miniature.
Because they typically would rather reform young people than punish them, many Judges give offenders under 18 years of age probation when they’re arrested for drugs, theft, vandalism, or violence. In that case, it’s your job as a Juvenile Probation Officer to make sure they stay on the straight and narrow until their probation is over.
To do that, you work with youth offenders to develop a plan that will help them rehabilitate, make amends, and otherwise satisfy the terms of their probation. Often, this plan includes a combination of counseling, community service, court appearances, and academic performance.
Of course, it’s also your job to make sure this plan is followed. That requires visiting the juvenile offenders at home, or meeting with them at your office. It also requires conferencing regularly with their parents or guardians, Teachers, and Guidance Counselors.
For Probation Officers who work with adults, the job is primarily about enforcing rules and ensuring compliance. Because you work with young people, however, you do a lot more than babysit the criminals in your case files. You also mentor them, serving as a role model who encourages improved behavior and helps guide them on the path to a more productive future.