On a daily basis, Pulaski County juvenile probation officers work closely with youths who are caught in the juvenile justice system as a result of problems at home, in school, socially, or psychologically. The ultimate goal is rehabilitation, but officers must also hold young offenders accountable for their criminal actions. The county currently employs three juvenile probation officers who keep tabs on their assigned caseloads, liaise between youths and the courts, and provide positive role model leadership.
The county’s juvenile detention facility has expanded from 11 beds in 1990 to its present 48 beds, with the goal of reducing the juvenile population held in adult facilities.
Having What it Takes
Pulaski County requires all its juvenile probation officers to have at least a bachelor’s degree in any subject area. Candidates must also have no felony convictions and be able to work legally in the United States. An important part of an applicant’s interview will be to assess how well he or she can perform the essential functions of a juvenile probation officer, which include:
- Compiling reports based on research and interviews
- Developing working relationships with juvenile offenders and their parents or guardians
- Conducting surveillance and inspections to confirm juvenile offenders are in compliance with their terms of probation
- Constructing rehabilitation plans based on an offender’s specific circumstances
Training for Careers in Juvenile Probations
Perhaps the most important step in the process of becoming a juvenile probation officer is the training. High-quality training ensures new officers are fully prepared to step into their new careers confidently and able to carry out their important duties competently. The Pulaski County probation officer training course stretches over a period of six weeks totaling 240 hours, during which time instruction will be provided in the areas of:
- Restraint, arrest, and pursuit maneuvers
- Self-defense procedures
- Negotiations and logical reasoning
- Courtroom etiquette
- Probation theory and history
- Recognition of the signs of physical and mental abuse
- Addiction treatment and community resources
Navigating the Application Process
There are three circuit court divisions responsible for hiring juvenile probation officers in Pulaski County: the 8th District, 10th District, and 11th District. Probation officer jobs in Pulaski County are unclassified positions, meaning vacancies are not required to be advertised publicly. Candidates can still monitor the human resources jobs webpage for any advertised positions – the job title is simple Probation Officer as adult or juvenile work is determined after hire – but it is also recommended to be in touch with the circuit courts about any possibilities of future hiring or appointment.
Applications are accepted online via the county’s application portal and can also be submitted by fax or dropped off in person at the human resource department’s office in Little Rock on South Broadway Street. Juvenile probation officers work throughout the jurisdictional area of Pulaski County, including in the cities of:
- Little Rock
- North Little Rock