Juvenile Probation Officer
Juvenile Probation Officer
A Juvenile probation officer is responsible for overseeing adolescents who are on probation. The officer helps the offenders adhere to the stipulated orders within unsupervised and structured environments.
Working under the department requires individuals who have a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice or any other similar fields (Rapp-Paglicci 18). The main duty of such an officer is to work with adolescents and teens on parole. Instead of detention, most judges apply probation when juveniles dealing with juveniles. Prevalence of such options requires officers who are able to deal with offenders and help them back to the society as productive members.
Juvenile probation officers supervise all the adolescents who are under their care. The officers meet with the offenders and their families regularly to assess and research about their history. Through regular visits, the officers also ensure that the adolescents on parole comply with all the terms from the juvenile court. The officers also work closely with the court and the affected families to provide counseling to the juvenile. Such provisions ensure change of behavior to the adolescents, and enable them to embark on their education without problems.
The daily routine is centered within interviewing guardians and parents, investigating various cases and making recommendations to the courts on the progress of the adolescent in question. The officers are also supposed to make court appearances when necessary and also provide drug test to ascertain the level of drugs taken by the adolescent on parole.
Juvenile probation officers ought to have a passion with helping the youth while executing their duties (Wasserman 420). Such operations require them to be role models to the youth so that they can emulate them and make changes in their lives. There is therefore a need to have patience and energy when dealing with such adolescents and their parents. Winning the respect and trust of all the offenders is a requirement for the parole officer while performing his or her duties
During the process of counseling offenders it is possible for offenders to take longer periods to change their behavior. Such cases arise when the offenders meet with their peers who engage in the same behaviors. The probation officers can also get minimal or wrong information while interviewing different parents and guardians, and this occurs when they have secrets they want to keep to themselves. Officers with major family obligations like caring for the sick often find it hard balance their work and families. Through this imbalance, most of them end up leaving their own families or providing minimal supervision to the offenders.
Offenders on parole only listen and make changes when dealing with people they trust, because without trust and respect they never listen to them as required. Such a position cannot be handled with people with defensive personalities, but with those who are compassionate and patient. All officers working with juvenile offenders need to understand the offenders and always consider their background history while dealing with them.
Working with juvenile offenders is tasking and needs individuals who have prior knowledge of counseling and psychology (Murrie 324). Such subjects can help the officers operate within the paradigms of people who are not within the required standards of the society. While making recommendations parole officers need to consider the little changes observed as opposed to the big gap left to recovery. There is a need to make further research and writing on matters that concern families with adolescent offenders.
Murrie, D. C., Cornell, D. G., & McCoy, W. K. (2005). Psychopathy, conduct disorder, and stigma: Does diagnostic labeling influence juvenile probation officer recommendations? Law and Human Behavior, 29(3), 323-342.
Rapp-Paglicci, Lisa A. “Juvenile Probation Officers: Safe and Sound?” Stress, Trauma and Crisis: An International Journal 7.1 (2004): 17-28.
Wasserman, G. A., McReynolds, L. S., Whited, A. L., Keating, J. M., Musabegovic, H., & Huo, Y. (2008). Juvenile probation officersʼ mental health decision making. Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research, 35(5), 410-422.
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