Missouri’s juvenile probation system is separated into 45 independent judicial districts, which all have different juvenile probation services and procedures. The 16th judicial court district is responsible for monitoring all juvenile probation services in Jackson County. The county population is the second largest in the state and includes the cities of Kansas City and Independence, as well as the suburban areas surrounding those cities. The main district court for juveniles is located in Kansas City. All juvenile probation services in the state of Missouri operate under the supervision of the Office of State Courts Administration, although each district operates independently from each other.
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The main priority for juvenile probation officers in Jackson County is to supervise and perform casework for juveniles serving probation sentences in the region. Usually, a juvenile probation officer will be assigned casework for up to 5 juvenile offenders at the same time, although it can vary depending on the number of juveniles serving sentences at a particular juvenile probation office. Officers in Jackson County have peace officer status, which means they are authorized to make arrests- as long as arrestees are under the supervision of the probation officer at the time of the arrest. Juvenile probation officers in Jackson County, however, are not permitted to carry or use firearms as part of their duties.
Education and Experience Requirements
All applicants for juvenile probation officer jobs in Jackson County must have at least a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university, as recognized by the state of Missouri. It is preferred that the degree be in one of the following fields:
- Criminal justice
- Social work
A field of study closely related to one of the subjects can also be used to fulfill the education requirement for the position.
In some cases relevant work experience can be used as a substitute for the education requirements, if the applicant can prove that they have the skills and knowledge needed to fulfill the basic component of the juvenile probation officer position.
Training Academy for Juvenile Probation Officers in Jackson County
After completing the hiring and interview process, applicants are then considered recruits and are required to complete 40 hours of training classes. The training classes include:
- Physical agility testing
- Arrest procedures
- Counseling and interview methods
- Investigation procedures and practices
- Departmental procedures
- Report writing
- Referral methods
- Testifying in court cases
In order to graduate from the academy, all recruits must pass the physical exam, as well as the Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) examination. The written exam consists of multiple choice, true/ false questions, short answer and long form essay questions. The purpose of the test is to ensure that all recruits have the basic knowledge and decision making skills to perform the functions of the job. A score of 70 percent is required in order to pass the test and move on to training at one of the juvenile probation offices located in Jackson County.