Across Kansas in a recent year law enforcement agencies reported making a total of 11,843 juvenile arrests. Most of the resulting convictions led to the involvement of a court services officer when the juvenile offenders became involved in a probation program. Juvenile probation officers in Kansas are known as court services officers. Court services officers provide a vital community service, helping young offenders learn how to become responsible citizens and find a useful place in society. At the same time court services officers protect the community by holding juvenile offenders to the terms of their probation and reporting or even arresting them when those terms are violated.
It is the ultimate goal of the court service officer to reduce the rate of recidivism among juvenile offenders and prevent their return as adults to the criminal justice system.
Education and Training for Court Services Officer Jobs in Kansas
The State of Kansas requires court services officers to have at least a bachelor’s degree with major coursework in social services such as social work and psychology, or criminal justice. Applicants can also qualify by having four or more years of employment with the Kansas Judicial Department.
No previous training is required of new applicants, who will receive on-the-job instruction during their first year of employment. Depending on the district, additional hours of classroom work may be provided. After their first year officers need to complete 40 hours of continuing education and training annually.
Applying for Court Services Officer Jobs
Candidates who would like to submit an application for employment as a court services officer can begin this process by monitoring the Kansas Supreme Court’s human resources webpage that lists all current job openings. Candidates must wait until a Court Services Officer position becomes available before they can apply, at which point they can fill out a general state judicial branch application for employment, sending it to the address indicated in the job announcement.
Other minimum requirements for those interested in learning how to become court services officers in Kansas include:
- Eligibility to work legally in the United States
- No felony, domestic violence, or sexual crimes convictions
- Excellent writing, reading, and summarizing skills
- Good moral character
What to Expect from a Career as a Court Services Officer in Kansas
Jobs and careers as a court services officer require an ideological dedication combined with the practical ability to work and communicate well with people from all walks of life. Officers act as a bridge between the law-abiding community and the juvenile justice system for the young offender. The court services officer will inform the court of the needs of the juvenile offender, while at the same time informing the offender of the court proceedings and what they mean. Requirements of the court services officer job description include:
- Daily communication with juveniles and parents or guardians
- Knowledge of community resources and ability to refer juvenile offenders for appropriate assistance
- Assisting and supervising the juvenile offender to ensure compliance with the terms of probation
- Ability to create and maintain excellent records regarding compliance with probation terms, warrants, violations, and official court documents