The first judicial district of Kansas is composed of Atchison and Leavenworth Counties, which are located in the northeastern section of the state. Kansas’ first judicial district is one of the largest probation and parole service providers in the state. The largest cities covered by the judicial district are Atchison, Leavenworth and Lansing, as the rest of the county areas are largely rural and sparsely populated. The only probation and parole offices in the district are located in the cities of Atchison and Leavenworth proper.
Probation Officer Duties in the First Judicial District
Officers in Kansas do not have peace officer authority, which means they are not considered to be law enforcement professionals in the traditional sense. They are not authorized to carry firearms, but they are authorized to arrest probation offenders, as long as those offenders are under the supervision of the arresting officer. Probation officers are required to supervise offenders, to conduct investigations into probation violations, testify in court and coordinate with other local and state law enforcement agencies.
Applicants for a probation officer position in Atchison and Leavenworth Counties must meet certain education requirements before being considered for the job. In order to get a probation officer job in the first district of Kansas, an applicant must have at least a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university as recognized by the state. The bachelor’s degree must be in criminology, sociology, psychology, counseling, social work, human services or a field of study that is closely related to those subjects. Applicants with no bachelor’s degree will not be considered for a probation officer job in the first judicial district.
In combination with a bachelor’s degree, applicants with at least two years of experience (in the last five years of employment history) will be given special preference if they have experience in one of the following areas:
- Conducting interviews
- Conducting investigations
- Creating and filing formal reports
- Testifying in court
- Law enforcement
- Social work
- Communicating with people with mental health and/or substance abuse issues
- Referring and collaborating with treatment providers and professionals
Hiring Process and Training
During the hiring process, those looking to become a probation officer in the first judicial district must complete a series of interviews and examinations. A physical test must be passed, as well as a one-on-one interview and a final interview with a board of officials from the court services division of the district.
Upon completion of the hiring process, probation officers are required to complete 2 ½ days of training and receive the Kansas Association of Court Services Officers certification. Probation officers are then required to complete additional training each year after that for as long as they are employed with the first judicial district of Kansas and the counties of Atchison and Leavenworth.