The state of Nebraska is organized into 12 judicial districts, including 14 field offices and 32 satellite offices for juvenile probation services. Lancaster County is the largest county in the state and is home to two juvenile probation field offices and four satellite offices that serve a juvenile probation offender population that consists of hundreds of young offenders.
Lancaster County is the 3rd judicial district in Nebraska and is separated into two distinct districts (3A and 3J,) one of which only serves the juvenile population of Lincoln, and the other serving the rest of Lancaster County.
Juvenile Probation Officer Status in Lancaster County, Nebraska
As the largest juvenile probation provider in the state, officers in Lancaster County are asked to take on a much larger workload than officers in the rest of Nebraska. In the state, juvenile probation officers do not have peace officer status, so they are not required to complete the same academy training as other law enforcement employees in the state. As such, juvenile probation officers are not authorized to carry firearms as part of their duties, although they are permitted to make arrests of juvenile probation offenders. Officers are required to handle casework for juveniles that are serving probation sentences, which includes counseling, referral services, interviews and investigations, among many other duties and tasks.
Education and Training Requirements for Juvenile Probation Officers in
Education Requirement – The entry-level requirement for juvenile probation officer job applicants in Lancaster County is a bachelor’s degree in a behavioral science. Acceptable fields of study include psychology, criminology, sociology, counseling, social work, criminal justice and other closely related fields. Applicants will not be considered if they do not possess a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college, as recognized by the state of Nebraska.
Basic Training – Upon being hired, new juvenile probation officers are required to complete 160 hours of training at an academy in the state. The training includes a physical fitness examination and a written examination, as well as classes that focus on communication skills, arrest procedures, defensive tactics, interview and investigation processes and other skills related to dealing with at-risk youth. Upon graduation from the training academy, juvenile probation officers are given on the job training under the supervision of a veteran officer at one of the field or satellite offices in Lancaster County, Nebraska.
Additional Training – After the first year of employment, juvenile probation officers are then required to complete an additional 24 hours of training each and every year that they are employed with the state. The additional training is meant to keep juvenile probation officers up to date with the latest procedure and policy changes related to juvenile probation services. Officers may receive a pay and position upgrade if they complete the training and display a high quality level of work.