The state of Maryland is separated into various jurisdiction divisions in order to adequately provide criminal justice services, including services for juveniles on probation. While most jurisdictions are separated via county lines, the city of Baltimore is the only juvenile jurisdiction that strictly covers the city limits.
The city of Baltimore’s juvenile probation district (Region 1) is the largest in the state, and operates under the supervision of the Department of Juvenile Services division of the Maryland Department of Corrections. In total, there are three regional offices located in the Baltimore City Region (the Central Office, the South Office and the Plaza Office,) as well as two juvenile probation facilities (the Baltimore City Juvenile Justice Center and the William Donald Schaefer House.)
According to the latest report done by the Department of Juvenile Services, the Baltimore City region has a juvenile probation population of 4,409, which made up more than 16-percent of the total juvenile probation population in the entire state of Maryland. In total, about one third of all probation cases in Baltimore were for juvenile offenders.
Bachelor Degreee Requirements
The Juvenile Services Department stipulates that all applicants for juvenile probation officer jobs in Baltimore must first meet specific qualifications to become a juvenile probation officer. The most important of which is education requirements. All applicants must have at least a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university or college. While there is no requirement in terms of the field of study, candidates are encouraged to pursue a degree in a field related to counseling, psychology, social services, behavioral sciences, criminal justice or social sciences.
Those with a degree in one of those fields, or that have prior work experience related to those fields, will be given special consideration during the initial phases of the hiring process.
Once all applications are reviewed, they will be categorized. The top categorization for applicants is “Best Qualified,” and is based on work experience, education and other accomplishments. Only the best-qualified candidates will move on. Applicants will then be required to complete a written examination, a psychological and medical examination and a drug screen prior to enrollment in the training academy.
Training and Continuing Education
Once accepted into the training academy, recruits are required to complete 320 hours of training classes during the first year of employment. Juvenile probation officers in Maryland do not have peace officer status and are not authorized to make arrests or carry a firearm while on duty, so training in those areas is not included. Officers will be trained in communication skills, counseling procedures, case management and report filing, among many other skills and procedures.
After completion of the training classes at the academy, officers are then required to complete an additional 40 hours of training each and every year that they are employed by the Juvenile Services Department in the state of Maryland.