State probation cases in New Jersey are handled under the auspices of the Administrative Office of the Courts. Most counties in New Jersey have their own probation divisions. The Probation Department in Bergen County had 115 employees in 2012 and supervised 4,000 people on probation and 13,000 people who were required to pay child support.
The Bergen County Probation Department is still located in Hackensack, but its building on River Street was declared a total loss after flooding from Hurricane Sandy in 2012. All 150 computers were ruined, and 10,000 case files were soaked. Fortunately, the probation records were also stored on computers in Trenton.
Becoming a Probation Officer in Bergen County: Education and Training
Jobs for probation officers in Bergen County require at least a bachelor’s degree, preferably in a field such as the behavioral sciences or criminal justice. There are additional requirements, including being at least 21 years old at the time of employment and having a valid driver’s license. Before being hired, those aspiring to become probation officers must pass New Jersey’s civil service exam.
New probation officers in Bergen County learn how to become proficient in their jobs through a substantial amount of training. They are trained to assess the needs of the individuals on probation and manage the cases by helping to arrange for any services needed. They are also trained to prevent domestic violence.
Job Functions of Bergen County Probation Officers
In addition to supervising cases that have been adjudicated in Bergen County, probation officers also enforce supervision for residents with cases that have been mandated by other counties and states other than New Jersey.
The primary purpose of probation officers in Bergen County is twofold. They supervise the cases of individuals that have been sentenced to probation or some other supervision status by courts within the county. Probation officers also collect and disburse payments that have been ordered by the courts, including child support payments.
Probation officer careers in Bergen County develop case plans for the individuals they have been assigned to supervise. These plans are developed based on the needs of the probationer and their risk of reoffending. The individuals may need mental health counseling, substance abuse treatment, job training, and referrals for employment. Probation officers work with other agencies to provide these services.