One reason why probation officers search for jobs in Kane County is because of the large community that it serves. According to the United States Census Bureau, the population of Kane County was 515,269 in 2010. This high population density puts Kane County among the top five largest counties by population in Illinois. The county is not only home to the state’s second biggest city, Aurora, but also caters to nearby Elgin and St. Charles.
Another reason why professionals continue to pursue probation officer careers in Kane Country is due to its recent rise in employment. The State of Illinois Department of Employment Security confirms that between 2011 and 2012, the employment level in Kane County rose by 2.8%. This increase added 4,456 new jobs to the county’s total workforce of 160,955.
Employment Eligibility in Kane County
Students and professionals that are curious about how to become a probation officer in Kane County, Illinois must heed training and education requirements set forth by the state government. For example, probation officers with non-supervisory positions must possess a baccalaureate degree from accredited university or college. Ideally, this degree should be in an area of social work, sociology, criminal justice, psychology or other social services.
However, probation officers with supervisory responsibilities must have a master’s degree in a discipline such as management, criminal justice, social services or public administration. In addition, these workers must have at least one year of experience and training in probation-related services. Probation officers that have accrued two or more years of professional experience may qualify for supervisory positions if they hold a bachelor’s degree as well.
Probation Statistics in Kane County
According to the Kane County Government Center, the 2009 the Sixteenth Judicial Court along with its staff of trained probation officers:
- Supervised 3,367 active probation cases
- Ordered 282 pre-sentence investigations
- Added 1,378 new felony probation cases
- Received 1,087 conditional discharges
- Handled 666 intra-state transfer cases
- Completed 144 record checks
Field Service Officers
The Sixteenth Judicial Court is essentially in control of probationary matters in Kane County (along with DeKalb and Kendall County). However, it is the job responsibility of probation officers to ensure that the day-to-day conditions of court supervision are upheld and enforced. In Kane County, the majority of probation officers work in the Field Services Unit to:
- to measure the level of risk an offender poses to the community
- identify an offender’s need for community assistance programs
- create case supervision plans based on an offender’s risks/needs
- conduct annual reviews regarding an offender’s progress
- inform the State’s Attorney’s Office regarding probation violations
Probation Programs in Kane County
Although many probation officers work in the Field Services Unit, the Sixteenth Judicial Court also features several extending probation programs which are maintained or supported by probation officers, including:
- Community Restitution Service
- Pre-Trial Services
- Electronic Monitoring
- Conditional Discharge
- Intensive Probation Supervision
- Adult Domestic Violence
- Investigation Unit
- Specialized Sex Offender
Probation Officer Employment
The Illinois Department of Employment Security reports that 2,637 probation officers and correctional treatment specialists worked throughout the state in 2010. By 2020, these workers are expected to number 2,938. This projection illustrates an employment growth change of 11.41% over a ten-year span. Not surprisingly, the state’s region with the highest concentration of employment is the Chicago metropolitan area, which includes Kane County.