Juvenile Probation Officer Careers in California

In 2009, 204,696 juvenile arrests were made in California. Of those arrests, 161,708 (79 percent) were referred for probation, thereby highlighting the demand for probation officers in this state.

More than half of the juveniles arrested in California were arrested for a misdemeanor offense, while nearly 29 percent were arrested for a felony offense.

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Minimum Requirements for Juvenile Probation Officer Careers in California

Probation services are administered at the county level in California, and all 58 counties have a juvenile probation department, as mandated by the California Welfare and Institution code. Juvenile probation officers in California are sworn peace offers who have the power to arrest.

Although qualifications for probation officers may vary from one county to the next, a minimum requirement for all juvenile probation officer jobs in California is a bachelor’s degree. Further, juvenile probation officers must be at least 21 years old and must possess a valid California driver’s license.

The majority of juvenile probation officer jobs in California are held by professionals with a bachelor’s degree in sociology, psychology, criminology or a related field, or a combination of training and experience working with juvenile offenders.

How to Become a Juvenile Probation Officer in California through Training

California does not certify its probation officers. Training standards for those looking at how to become juvenile probation officers in California are established and maintained by the State’s Corrections Standards Authority.

All new juvenile probation officers in California must complete, during their first year of employment, 160 hours of CORE training, as well as departmental-specific training.

About California’s Division of Juvenile Justice

The Division of Juvenile Justice (DJJ), through the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, serves juvenile offenders up to the age of 25 who have serious criminal backgrounds or serious treatment needs.

The DJJ serves just one percent of the youths arrested in the state each year through vocational education, treatment programs, substance abuse and mental health programs, and medical care, all the while providing them with a safe and secure environment.

As of 2012, the DJJ consisted of 3 facilities, one conservation camp, and five parole officers. During this time, 397 juveniles in California were on parole and 752 were in facilities or camps.

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