In 1998, the Illinois Juvenile Justice Reform Act revised the Illinois Juvenile Court Act to adopt the principles of balanced and restorative justice (BAJR). The practices of restorative justice balance the needs of offenders and victims, along with those of the community.
The central focus is the needs of the victim and the responsibility of the offender for repairing harm that the individual has caused. Research ahs shown that implementing these practices reduces the likelihood of juveniles reoffending. Juvenile probation officers are trained in the practice of restorative justice to help youthful offenders to become law-abiding citizens.
According to a 2011 survey by the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority, DuPage County had the second greatest number of organizations that used the principles of restorative justice with juveniles. Sixteen respondents to the survey reported using these principles. This survey was distributed widely among organizations that worked with youth misconduct or delinquency.
How to Become a Juvenile Probation Officer in DuPage County
Probation officer jobs in DuPage County involve working with both juveniles and adults. The requirements to become a juvenile probation officer include having a year’s experience in one of the following fields, or a related degree in human services:
- Social work
Candidates who have a bachelor’s degree are preferred. One year of equivalent training and experience can substitute.
New employees of Probation and Court Services learn how to become juvenile probation officers in DuPage County by taking part in a week of basic training that is provided by the state. The Probation Division of Illinois provides this training, which must take place during the first year of employment. Training sessions are offered several times each year.
Juvenile Crime Statistics in DuPage County
The number of juveniles on probation in DuPage County increased by 29% from 1994 to 2003, providing employment for a number of juvenile probation officers in the county. In 2006, the Juvenile Trial Division of DuPage County processed 963 cases of delinquency, while the Special Victims Unit handled 32 cases of juvenile delinquency.
The overall crime rate had dropped for most of the cities in DuPage County between 2003 and 2009. This was not the case for Wheaton, Downers Grove, and Oak Brook, among others.