Probation officers serve two main purposes in the State of Nebraska. First they conduct pre-sentencing investigations as ordered by the courts while providing a useful and cost-saving alternative to incarceration. Second, a key role of probation officers is to reduce the recidivism rate among probationers; to help offenders re-integrate themselves back into the community and learn how to become responsible members of society.
By a recent count, on average there are 17,000 adults on probation at any given time in Nebraska, and over half of these are from Driving Under the Influence (DUI) convictions. In a recent year, 21 percent of these offenders violated the terms of their probation and were sent to either jail or prison.
Getting the Right Education
Jobs and careers as probation officers in Nebraska require the completion of a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, social sciences, or other related fields such as social work or psychology. Though not essential, candidates speaking Spanish are desired for this position. The abilities to read, interpret reports, and write clearly are the academic foundations for probation officer jobs.
Other Job Requirements
Applicants for probation officer jobs and careers in Nebraska must also be able to meet other requirements for the position and perform the essential job duties:
- Be legally able to work in the United States
- Have no felony or domestic violence convictions
- Be of good moral character
- Good writing ability
- Excellent verbal communication skills with people from a variety of backgrounds
- Ability to read and interpret professional reports
- Ability to positively influence and motivate offenders
How to Apply for Available PO Positions in Nebraska
Candidates wishing to fill out an application for probation officer positions can visit Nebraska’s state jobs website, search for vacancies, and apply online. There must be current job openings to apply, otherwise candidates can fill out a jobs interest card to be notified by email when the position becomes open.
Nebraska Probation Officer Training
New hires just beginning their careers as probation officers will undergo an extensive amount of training during their first year, with over half being conducted online. This will include:
- Report writing
- Behavioral health
- Probationer psychology
- Courtroom etiquette
- Community resources
- Investigative techniques
Continuing education training is required for probation officers in Nebraska, who must complete at least eight hours of annual education. Continuing training is also provided in key areas such as:
- Substance abuse supervision
- Community-based intervention
- Specialized supervision
- Cognitive thinking
Probation Officers: Community Service Officers
Probation officers play a key role in society, functioning as a bridge from the criminal world to an organized and constructive community existence. Probation officers inform the judiciary system of the special circumstances of probationers and hold offenders accountable to their rehabilitation strategies. They provide a chance for society to gain productive members, for offenders to have a feeling of purpose in their lives, and protect law-abiding citizens from offenders intent on criminality. An entry-level probation officer trainee can expect to earn an hourly minimum wage of $15.46, or just over $2,474 a month.