Lake County has had such a problem with the sale of narcotics that it was designated an HIDTA (High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area) in 1997. Gary’s proximity to Chicago has made it an attractive location for members of Chicago street gangs to avoid law enforcement crackdowns and broaden their market for selling narcotics. These gang members, frequently juveniles, have spread southward throughout Lake County.
Overall, fewer court cases were filed in Lake County in 2011, and the number of murder cases filed dropped dramatically from 2010 and was the lowest of those filed during the past decade. Of the murders that did occur in Lake County, over 60% took place in Gary.
In Indiana as a whole, 4% of the cases filed in all of the courts were those of juveniles. Juvenile probation officers in Lake County handle the cases of juveniles who are brought before the court.
Juveniles that are brought to court in Lake County go before the Juvenile Division of the Superior Court of Lake County in Crown Point. An additional Juvenile Court is being reestablished in Gary.
Becoming a Juvenile Probation Officer in Lake County
Having a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university or college is one of the requirements for becoming a juvenile probation officer in Lake County. In addition, applicants should demonstrate that they have an understanding of legal processes and human behavior characteristics.
Juvenile probation officers in Indiana are required to be certified. Applicants interested in obtaining jobs as juvenile probation officers in Lake County should contact the Indiana Judicial Center to arrange to take the examination to become certified.
Training to Become a Juvenile Probation Officer in Lake County
New employees of the Lake County Juvenile Court learn how to become juvenile probation officers by training that takes place at the Indiana Justice Academy in Indianapolis. This orientation takes place from 9:30 A.M. on Tuesday through 3:00 P.M. on Friday.
Officers who have started their careers are required to take part in this training within a year of being hired, but it is recommended that they do so within the first half year of starting the job.
The orientation program familiarizes new officers with the procedures for both juvenile and adult probation. They learn the skills of:
Juvenile probation officers in Lake County may find The Probation Officer’s Professional Association of Indiana to be of interest.