In a recent year the number of juveniles arrested in Maine came to 6,492. This is a lower number than the preceding nine years, and Maine’s Department of Corrections Juvenile Services branch would like to see this trend continue. Juvenile probation and parole officers in Maine go by the title “community corrections officers” (JCCOs). These JCCOs play a key role in the rate of recidivism for juvenile offenders, their principle goal being to provide the proper rehabilitative support to ensure young offenders do not re-enter the juvenile justice system.
Recent statistics show 62 percent of youths under the supervision of JCCOs did not re-offend, 72 percent of youths completing a JCCO supervision program did not re-offend, and nearly 49 percent of youths discharged from a juvenile corrections facility and the supervision of a JCCO did not re-offend. JCCOs help teach juvenile offenders how to become integrated into society as responsible citizens, while at the same time holding them accountable for the terms of their probation.
Education and Experience Requirements for Becoming a Juvenile Community Corrections Officer
The Pine Tree State requires all applicants interested in learning how to become juvenile probation and parole officers in Maine to have at least a bachelor’s degree in psychology or any other behavioral or social science, criminal justice, or another related field such as social work. On top of this education requirement, candidates must also have at least six months of experience in youth counseling and case management, juvenile parole and probation work, or other juvenile law enforcement experience. Candidates may substitute these specific education and experience requirements with an equivalent combination of highly pertinent similar experience, training, and education.
There is no civil service exam for JCCO jobs as candidates are hired directly based on their qualifications. The State also requires the following:
- Maine Class C Driver’s License
- No felony or domestic violence convictions
- Legal ability to work in the United States
- Good moral character
Training to Become a Juvenile Probation and Parole Officer in Maine
JCCOs in the first year of their careers must complete 80 hours of pre-service training and will subsequently be placed with a JCCO training officer for six months. After one year of service, officers must complete an annual continuing education and training requirement totaling 40 hours each year.
How to Apply to Become a Juvenile Probation and Parole Officer in Maine
Candidates who would like to apply for jobs as JCCOs need to monitor the state’s direct-hire jobs website for openings. Once there is a vacancy, the job advertisement will advise the candidate where to submit their application form and any other required documents.
Juvenile community corrections officers are the bridge between the young offender, the courts, and the law-abiding society. They must explain court proceedings and ruling to the juvenile offender and his or her parents or guardians, while at the same time reporting on the juvenile’s situation to the court. The JCCO must also recognize the ways to best rehabilitate young offenders in the short and long run. JCCOs are responsible for:
- Investigating delinquency cases using evidence-based practices and documenting probation violations
- Researching and writing court-ordered reports used to determine sentencing and probation terms
- Monitoring a juvenile offender’s rehabilitating progress, and modifying as necessary the terms and restrictions of probation
- Being aware of all available community resources that may benefit young offenders
- Ensuring offenders maintain a mandated schedule that includes:
- Vocational education
- Counseling appointments
- Substance abuse programs