Michigan’s juvenile probation system is very different from most in the United States. Instead of having a state law enforcement department that overlooks the parole operations, Michigan operates through the supervision of family courts in different jurisdictions around the state. In fact, many jurisdictions have their own juvenile probation system that is no way associated with other operations around the state.
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In Michigan, the Bureau of Juvenile Justice, which helps the different divisions operate, but does not control the divisions in anyway. For the most part, each division in Michigan is operated by the local circuit court in that area. In total, there are about 80 juvenile probation offices located throughout the state.
Since there is no centralized department overseeing the juvenile probation offices, whether or not juvenile officers receive peace officer status allowing them to carry firearms and make arrests, differs from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.
Educational Requirements for Juvenile Probation Officers in Michigan
In order to become a juvenile probation officer in Michigan, an applicant must have at least a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university or college. Applicants with a bachelor’s degree in social work, psychology, law enforcement or a related field are given special consideration in most jurisdictions.
Some jurisdictions in the state only require a high school diploma or a GED in order to qualify for a juvenile probation officer job.
Juvenile Probation Officer Certification
If an applicant is hired by a jurisdiction, they are then required to become a certified juvenile probation officer in Michigan. The certification is obtained by attending a 2 ½ day course and then taking an extensive examination. If the applicant passes the exam they can then move on to the rest of the hiring process.
Training Academy for Juvenile Probation Positions in Michigan
Like all other aspects of juvenile probation careers in Michigan, the training standards are different from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Some offices require that recruits attend an intensive training academy, while other jurisdictions prefer to give their training through on the job methods.
Training can include courses that involve community outreach, social work, psychology, criminal justice, law enforcement methods, investigation procedures, report filing and sociology, amongst many other subjects.
Additional Training After the Academy
Depending on the jurisdiction, juvenile probation officers may be required to take part in some form of supplemental training after graduation from the academy- especially if the juvenile probation officer works in a jurisdiction where firearm handling is required.
The annual training classes typically involve firearm recertification and updates on legislative procedures that may affect the way in which the juvenile probation services operate in that particular jurisdiction. This is especially true for juvenile probation officers in Michigan during the first year of employment with the jurisdiction. Some training classes may be required after the first year of employment, and possibly during each year that the juvenile probation officer is working in a Michigan jurisdiction.