Probation Officer Career in Santa Clara County, California

The main office of the Santa Clara Probation Department is in the county sear of San Jose. There are adult services offices in Morgan Hill, Palo Alto and San Jose. The department’s mission is the provision of preventive, protective and supervisory services in order to reduce crime and protect the community. The emphasis is on innovative programs that focus on offender accountability and the development of competency skills.

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How to Pursue a Probation Officer Career in Santa Clara County

Qualifications for probation officer jobs in Santa Clara County are:

  • 21 years of age or older
  • 4-year degree from an accredited college/university, preferred majors- social or behavioral science, justice administration, criminal justice or a related field
  • Must pass physical and psychological exams and a background investigation

New recruits are required to attend 200 hours of training during their first year and 40 hours a year thereafter. For information about probation officer openings and the application process, call/write the Santa Clara Probation Department, 840 Guadalupe Parkway, San Jose, CA 95110; 408/278-5850.

The average annual salary of Santa Clara County probation officers is $62,000. Benefits include medical, dental, vision and life insurance as well as a retirement plan.

Responsibilities of Probation Officers in Santa Clara County

The responsibilities of adult probation officers in Santa Clara County include:

  • Interviewing offenders to evaluate their situations
  • Identifying symptoms of mental illness or substance abuse
  • Designing treatment plans
  • Referring individuals to needed community services
  • Enforcing probation conditions
  • Conducting substance abuse tests
  • Recommending court actions
  • Carrying out searches and making arrests

In February of 2010 the department instituted a policy to allow select probation officers who work with high-risk adult offenders to carry firearms for their own protection. Probation officers are peace officers who have the authority to arrest and take probationers into custody.

Progressive Reputation of the Santa Clara Probation Department

In 2011, the Santa Clara County Probation Department made news for its progressive and controversial stance when it became only the second jurisdiction in the U.S. to defy federal immigration policies by allowing illegal immigrants incarcerated for serious or violent crimes to be released onto the streets. Santa Clara is the state’s only probation department to contact prisoners before their release to offer job training, housing, etc., under the supervision of a probation officer. Santa Clara has historically been called “Santa Claus County” due to its generous mental health and other policies.

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