1,153 juveniles were arrested in Johnson County in 2011 for felonies ranging from rape to simple battery. Over 61% of these arrests were for theft. Court services officers, as juvenile probation officers are often called, carry out the supervision of young offenders in Kansas.
The Johnson County District Court is the 10th Judicial District in Kansas. This court sets the guidelines that juvenile probation officers use to operate. The court services of the county are housed in a newly renovated building on E. Santa Fe in Olathe that was previously a vacant grocery store. A ribbon cutting for this building was held in June 2013.
What it Takes to Become a Juvenile Probation Officer in Johnson County
The primary requirement to become a juvenile probation officer in Johnson County is to have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university or college with major course work in one of the following areas:
- Social work
Applicants who do not have a bachelor’s degree can be accepted if they have 60 semester hours from an accredited university, college, or junior college in conjunction with two years of court services experience.
Johnson County Employee Training
All new employees of Johnson County are required to take part in an orientation that takes place the first and third Wednesday of each month. Employees also have the opportunity to take part in a skills training program that offers a variety of courses. These include the following topics, among others:
- Business writing and communication skills
- Conflict resolution
- Customer service
- Effective meeting processes
- Workplace ethics
Those who are committed to juvenile probation officer careers in Johnson County may be interesting in joining the Kansas Association of Court Service Officers.
Juvenile Probation in Johnson County
Before a juvenile is sentenced, juvenile probation officers in Johnson County may have to prepare a pre-sentence report. These reports include the following:
- Description of physical/emotional health
- Educational status
- Employment status
- History of drug use
- Juvenile probation officer’s comments and recommendations to the court
- Prior record
- Probation plan (if appropriate)
- Social history
- Victim’s response
Frequently, the court will order special conditions for the juvenile’s probation. These are conditions that are commonly ordered:
- Alcohol/drug evaluation and treatment
- Attendance of specialized groups
- Community service work
- Psychological evaluations
- Sex offender evaluations
The primary job of juvenile probation officers is to ensure that the youths are fulfilling the terms of their diversion or probation that have been designated by the District Court Judge. Cases are assigned to the juvenile probation officers based on the school that youth attends.