The Office of Juvenile Affairs within the Oklahoma State government is responsible for supervision of juveniles on probation or parole in Cleveland County. The OJA has made steady headway in the struggle to limit juvenile delinquency in Cleveland County and throughout Oklahoma.
In 2005, the state reported 14,898 total juvenile cases. Since then, the number of juvenile cases has dropped year after year until they fell to 10,436 in 2012. The number of juvenile probationers has also fallen steadily during this period. In 2005, the number of probations totaled 3,414, but, by 2012, this had dropped to 2,558.
Degree Requirements and Training to Become a Juvenile Probation Officer in Cleveland County
Juvenile probation officer jobs in Cleveland County, Oklahoma may be found through the Office of Juvenile Affairs. Level I officers may receive starting salaries of $28,032 per year, while Level II officers can receive $32,304 in annual salary.
Degree Requirements – The minimum requirements for Level I juvenile probation officers are:
- A bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, social work, behavioral science or related field
- At least one year of experience in community supervision, social work, or corrections
- Possession of a valid Oklahoma motor vehicle license
- Willingness to travel throughout the state
- Ability to pass a drug screen
- Willingness to be on call 24 hours and seven days a week
Training Requirements – Upon hiring new juvenile probation officers must attend a training academy where they will receive 40 hours of instruction in academic and procedural topics. New hires must also complete 40 hours of orientation courses, as well as 16 hours of training from the Youth Level of Service Inventory curriculum. Following pre-employment training, new officers will remain under the supervision of a senior officer for at least the first year. After the first year, juvenile probation officers must complete at least 40 hours of training each year.
Cleveland County has Many Programs to Assist At-risk Youths
One of the most effective programs in the fight against juvenile delinquency has been graduated sanctions programs. These programs are developed and implemented within cities and counties by Community Councils. These programs identify at risk youths and allocate community resources to help treat underlying issues like domestic violence, substance abuse or mental illness. This is voluntary program that works with juvenile offenders and parents.
Community Based Youth Services Programs involve partnerships with public and private organizations across the state who sponsor prevention, diversion and treatment systems. In 2011, 42 agencies offered services like school based counseling, community workshops, and treatment options. Thirty agencies across the state provided emergency shelters for runaways, and 42 agencies provide First Offender programs that assist youths who have committed no prior offenses. The number of runaways in shelters has dropped considerably in recent years; in 2006, the peak number of youths in shelters was 5,577, but by 2011, that had tumbled to a low of 3,289.