The Southeast Region of the Department of Juvenile Justice’s probation services is comprised of three divisions with offices in Sitka, Ketchikan, and the main regional office in Juneau. Juvenile probation officers working in Juneau strive to accomplish three principal goals:
- Hold juveniles accountable for their behavior
- Help juveniles and their families develop skills and support systems to prevent future offenses
- Promote the healing of victims and communities
Those interested in learning how to become a juvenile probation officer will begin a process that involves completing an initial application and hiring procedure, an extensive training course, and two weeks of on-the-job training.
Required Education and Experience
Because juvenile probation officers in Juneau deal with delicate situations that require more than just a basic level of finesse, the Department of Juvenile Justice requires those applying for probation jobs to be educated and in most cases have experience working in similar fields. The eligibility requirements for juvenile probation officer jobs in Juneau stipulate that candidates must meet one of the following three conditions:
- A bachelor’s degree in the following or closely related subjects:
- Criminal justice
- Juvenile justice
- Social work
- Behavior science
- Guidance and counseling
- A bachelor’s degree in any field plus one year of experience working in one of the following positions or its equivalent:
- Alaska Military Youth Academy Team Leader
- Juvenile Justice Officer II
- Criminal Justice Technician I
- Social Services Associate II
- A high school diploma or GED and five years of experience in one of the above or related fields. Higher education may be substituted for up to four years of experience, at the rate of three semester or four quarter hours per month of experience.
Training and Working in Juneau
Upon hire, officers will begin their new careers with an extensive training program. This is conducted at the McLaughlin Youth Center in Anchorage where new hires will participate in 80 hours of pre-service orientation followed by 75 hours of job shadowing. After their first year officers need to also gain 40 hours of continuing education annually. New juvenile probation officers will learn:
- Juvenile sociology, trends, and cultural lifestyles
- Monitoring and supervision methods and requirements
- Counseling techniques, suicide screening, and other assessment tools
- Departmental regulations plus the rights and responsibilities of juveniles
- Security procedures and restraint techniques
Juvenile probation officers in Juneau need to be prepared for anything. An officer recently met with a seven year old boy who admitted to five recent counts of arson- in a school, two in a shopping center, a brush fire, and a fire in a legislative building. Besides dealing with extreme cases like this, juvenile probation officers also encounter a wide range of cultural diversity in Juneau and must know how to act accordingly.
Careers in juvenile probations begin with an application. Candidates can search through the state’s jobs postings online and apply directly through an individual job announcement. If there are no immediate vacancies candidates can sign up to be notified when a position becomes open.