The Florida Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) administers juvenile probation services in four capacities: Detention Services, Prevention and Victims Services, Probation and Community Corrections, and Residential Services.
The DJJ reported the following statistics for juveniles and juvenile offenders in Florida:
- As of August 2012, the population of juveniles in Florida between the ages of 10 and 17 was 1.8 million.
- The juvenile arrest rate in Florida was 52 per every 1,000 juveniles in FY 2011-2012, a decrease from 76 arrests per 1,000 juveniles in FY 2007-2008.
- Florida juvenile delinquency arrests were 96,515 in FY 2011-2012, down 34 percent from FY 2007-2008.
- In FY 2011-2012 there were 27,502 youths disposed to a probation service in Florida, a 27 decrease from FY 2007-2008.
Juvenile Probation Officer Education Requirements and Hiring Process
Individuals who want to qualify for Florida’s juvenile probation officer jobs must possess, at a minimum, a bachelor’s degree and one year of experience in education, criminal justice, or the social services. However, individuals who possess a master’s degree may qualify without the experience requirement.
In Florida, candidates interested in finding out how to become probation officers must expect to undergo drug testing, reference check, employment check, and a background investigation prior to being employed.
Probation Officer Training in Florida
Training is an important part of a new juvenile probation officer’s career in Florida. All juvenile probation officers must complete a field training and evaluation program through the Juvenile Probation Officer Academy.
This five-week training program includes 32 hours of protective action response and nearly 200 hours of classroom training on such topics as:
- Professional ethics
- Suicide prevention
- Gang awareness
- Adolescent development
- Substance abuse
- Restorative justice
- Mental health issues
- Courtroom procedures and behaviors
- Case flow process
- Probation responsibilities
Further, all juvenile probation officers must complete at least 24 hours of job-related in-service training on an annual basis.
The Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ), Probation and Community Corrections
Juvenile probation officers with The Department of Juvenile Justice administer programs to juveniles through 20 judicial districts and 135 probation field offices. Juvenile probation officers work solely with juveniles. There is no separate parole authority in Florida; as such, the DJJ makes all release and aftercare decisions. Aftercare services in Florida are referred to as “conditional releases.”