There are six main juvenile probation offices serving the needs of the juvenile justice and detention systems in Sebastian County, offering services in Spanish as needed. The Juvenile Probation Department has two main locations – one on South B Street in Fort Smith and the other on Center Street in Greenwood – where officers serve juvenile offenders and by doing so, the future of their local community.
Sebastian County juvenile probation officers are dedicated individuals who have proven to be the most qualified candidates from a pool of applicants, and have additionally completed an extensive training program making them qualified to be some of Sebastian County’s finest.
Required Education and Experience
If careers in probations sound appealing, candidates should be aware of the minimum experience and education requirements when researching how to become a juvenile probation officer in Sebastian County. Because officers will be dealing with sensitive material and delicate situations a certain level of skill is necessary, mandated by Sebastian County as follows:
- Candidates must have a high school diploma or GED, knowledge of a specialized field, and meet at least one of the following:
- Two years of credit from a university, college, or other accredited institution of higher education
- A total of two years of experience in some form of vocational training or correspondence learning
- An equivalent combination of work and education totaling two years
Juvenile Probation Officer Job Duties
Although working as a juvenile probation officer in Sebastian County will most certainly prove to be challenging, probation careers are also rewarding. Officers will see the difference in the lives of the youths they work with, aiming to instill a sense of responsibility while at the same time aiding in the rehabilitative process. Job duties include:
- Juvenile referral to appropriate social agencies with a follow up check
- Analysis of juvenile home and social behavior to determine an appropriate course of action
- Investigation of complaints against juveniles
- Serving as a go-between for young offenders and the juvenile justice system
- Report writing, legal documentation, and record keeping
Application and Training
The first step in becoming a juvenile probation officer is to complete a Sebastian County Application for Employment, which can be turned in to the Fort Smith Courthouse on South Sixth Street. Vacant juvenile probation officer jobs may also be posted on the state’s Department of Workforce Services website, where candidates may be able to submit applications online. When submitting a paper application, it is recommended that candidates first check with the human resources office to confirm that applications are being solicited.
After successfully making it through the application process, newly hired officers will begin the next step in their employment process: juvenile probations training. Officers will be instructed on the essentials of juvenile probation in the classroom and in field training exercises where they will learn to begin their new jobs with finesse and professionalism. Instruction will be provided in:
- Self-defense, arrest procedures, and restraint techniques
- First aid, CPR, and emergency medical situations
- Juvenile psychological and sociological behavior
- Signs of physical, substance, and emotional abuse
After their first year of employment, officers will need to complete an annual 12 hours of continuing education each year to keep their credentials up to date.