Kent County is home to Grand Rapids, the second most populous city in the state of Michigan. Kent County is also home to the Kent County Juvenile Detention Center, which is one of the largest juvenile detention facilities in the state. In addition to Grand Rapids, there are at least a dozen juvenile probation centers located throughout the rest of the county, including the cities of Wyoming, Grandville and Kentwood.
In most states around the country, juvenile probation services are organized into county or judicial districts, in which all operations are streamlined. However, in Kent County, as well as in the entire state of Michigan, most juvenile probation centers act independently of one another and may require different types of training and requirements based on where the center is located. In many cases, officers offering juvenile probation services will be based out of offices located in local churches, schools, community centers and police stations, among other places.
Juvenile Probation Officer Job Duties and Responsibilities
The largest employer of juvenile probation officers in Kent County is at the juvenile detention facility, which supports 109 juvenile probation officer jobs. The other probation locations typically employ one or two officers each, who serve primarily as caseworkers.
Those working at the juvenile detention center must conduct surveillance of offenders who are awaiting court hearings, that have committed serious crimes or that have repeatedly violated the conditions of their probation sentence.
Counseling is also a large part of the job, as is testifying in court, making treatment recommendations, conducting interviews and investigations and filing reports to judges and other supervisors.
Requirements for Juvenile Probation Officer Jobs in Kent County
Education – In order to be considered for juvenile probation officer jobs in Kent County, applicants must have at least 30 semester hours, or equivalent in sociology, psychology, child development, criminal justice or another field related to social, behavioral sciences and/or human services. In some cases, an equivalent amount of work, volunteer or internship experience can be substituted for the education requirement.
General – In addition to the education requirement, applicants must also meet the following minimum requirements and qualifications to become a Kent County juvenile probation officer:
- Must be at least 18 years of age
- Must have a valid drivers license
- Must be a United States citizen
- Must be able to pass a criminal background check
- Must be able to pass a drug screen
- Must be in good physical condition
Certification – While training varies depending on which location a juvenile probation officer is working at in Kent County, all officers are required to earn case work certification from the state of Michigan. In order to receive the certification, officers must attend a 2 ½ day course and then complete and pass a written examination.