In a recent year 5,828 juveniles were found to be delinquent in Massachusetts, while another 108 were indicted and found by a judge to be youthful offenders. Juvenile probation officers dealt with many of these youths, with the goal of rehabilitating the delinquents and offenders so they could learn how to become responsible and contributing members of society.
Juvenile probation officers act as critical go-betweens for those in the Massachusetts juvenile justice system, serving as a bridge between the courts, community resources, and the law-abiding society.
Massachusetts Juvenile Probation Officer Job Requirements
Juvenile probation officer candidates must agree they are willing and able to meet the job requirements before they will be hired. These include:
- Bringing violations of the juvenile’s terms of probation to the attention of the courts, and law enforcement agencies if necessary
- Preparing monthly performance reports and statistics on individual caseload
- Conducting counseling interviews and intakes for assigned cases using approved techniques designed to clarify and identify potential probationer problems
- Ensuring the probationer understands the sentence and instructions of the court
- Monitoring probationer’s commitments and obligations:
- Attendance of school, vocational training, mental health appointments, drug treatment programs, or other therapy sessions
- Follow through on required payments including fines, court fees, restitution, child support, and any other court-ordered dispensations
Education and Experience Requirements for Massachusetts Juvenile
Those learning how to become a juvenile probation officer in Massachusetts should have at least a bachelor’s degree, preferably in a field such as human services, social work, psychology, behavioral sciences, or criminal justice.
Candidates must also have at least two years of experience in human services, criminal justice, or as an associate probation officer.
A graduate degree in administration, education, criminal justice, law, management, or the behavioral sciences may be substituted for the experience requirement, providing that the requirements for the aforementioned bachelor’s degree are met.
Applying for Massachusetts Probation Officer Jobs
Candidates interested in applying for Massachusetts juvenile probation officer jobs can begin by checking the Massachusetts Court System jobs listings online and monitoring other local sources for vacancy postings – candidates cannot apply for jobs until there is an opening. When there is a probation officer job listing, candidates can complete an online application for locations across the state.
Candidates will be notified about the further steps in the application process, one of which is a basic-skills test that all must pass for further consideration. A recent listing for Juvenile Probation Officer I advertised a starting salary of $52,433.83 per year.
Mandatory Training for Massachusetts Juvenile Probation Officers
In the first year of their careers, juvenile probation officers are required to participate in a 120-hour orientation process. Officers are expected to be committed and act to continuously improve themselves, and they must have 40 hours of continuing education and training in the preceding three years to be eligible for promotion to Probation Officer II.
Probation officers in Massachusetts are trained in arrest procedures, however they are not permitted to carry firearms.