In the state of Minnesota, probation duties are split between three departments (the Minnesota Department of Corrections, the Community Corrections Department and the County Probation Officers Association), which are collectively responsible for both adult and juvenile probation services. In Hennepin County, including the twin cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis, juvenile probation services are supervised by the Community Corrections Department.
According to a 2010 report filed by the Hennepin County Community Corrections Department, the county supervised 2,120 juvenile offenders on average each month. While the numbers have been projected to decline since 2010, they have declined only slightly. The declines that have been seen are due to evidence-based programs that have sought to give alternative sentences to juvenile offenders that are at low-risk for reoffending or who were sentenced to probation due to petty misdemeanors.
Education Requirements for Juvenile Probation Officer Jobs in Hennepin County
In order to become a juvenile probation officer in Hennepin County, Minnesota, an applicant must first have the educational requirements to perform the job. The county states that applicants have at least a bachelor’s degree. The degree must be in criminal justice, sociology or another field of study related to human services, management, administration, law and behavioral sciences.
In special circumstances, applicants with an equivalent amount of education, work, volunteer or internship experience can be considered for a position within the department in Hennepin County.
Training to Become a Hennepin County Juvenile Probation Officer
Once an applicant successfully completes the hiring process and is offered a position with the Hennepin County Department of Community Corrections, they must then enroll in a training academy and graduate within the first year of employment. In order to graduate, a recruit is required to complete 60 hours of training classes. The classes teach the recruits communication skills, departmental procedures, arrest techniques, crisis management and conflict resolution skills, amongst many other skills, techniques and procedures.
After the first year of employment, entry-level juvenile probation officers are then required to complete an additional 40 hours of training each and every year that they are employed in Hennepin County and working with juveniles on probation.
Juvenile Probation Officer Duties and Responsibilities
Juvenile probation officers in Hennepin County are required to conduct investigations, interviews and file reports based on their findings. The goal is to use evidence-based approaches to ensure that juvenile offenders are receiving the best chance possible at rehabilitation to eliminate the likelihood of them reoffending in the future, whether it be as a juveniles or as adults.
Officers in Minnesota are not considered peace officers, but do have the authority to arrest juvenile offenders under their supervision if it is necessary.