St. Louis County, which is located in the 21st judicial district, is home to the largest juvenile probation system in the state. The 21st judicial district covers the city of St. Louis and the many suburbs of the city, including Clayton where the juvenile probate court is located. All juvenile services in the state of Missouri, including St. Louis County, operate under the supervision of the Office of Court Administration.
Juvenile probation officers in Missouri do not have peace officer status, which means they are not authorized to perform the common duties that peace officers in the state are permitted to. Juvenile probation officers are not allowed to carry a firearm while on duty, but they are authorized to make arrests, as long as those being arrested are under the supervision of the arresting officer.
The primary duty of juvenile probation officers in St. Louis County is to conduct investigations and interviews with juvenile offenders, parents, family members, employers and school administrators, as well as to perform case management work and ensure that juvenile probation offenders stay on track in accordance with their probation sentence. Officers are also required to guide juvenile offenders toward rehabilitation services if needed.
In order to become a juvenile probation officer in St. Louis County, applicants must meet the minimum education requirements for the position. Those that do not meet the education requirements will not be considered for available St. Louis County Juvenile Probation Officer jobs.
Applicants are required to have at least a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university in one of the following areas of study (of a field closely related to one of the subjects):
- Criminal justice
- Social work
Once an applicant successfully completes the hiring and interview processes, the juvenile probation officer recruits are then required to complete the training academy. During the first year of employment with St. Louis County, recruits are required to complete 40 hours of training classes. The new hires will learn how to become juvenile probation officers in St. Louis County competent in arrest procedures, investigation and interview techniques, record keeping and will become familiar with court procedures and local psychiatrists, drug treatment facilities and a host of other organizations that officers will work with while on duty.
In order to graduate from the training academy, new juvenile probation officers must pass the Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) certification test. A passing score is 70-percent, and consists of short answer, true and false questions, long-form essay questions and multiple choice questions in regards to state policies, communication skills and common problem solving and reasoning skills. Those who do not pass the test the first time will receive another chance to take it.