Juvenile probation supervision is conducted through the Superior Court of New Jersey, Essex Vicinage Family Court. Juvenile probation officers supervise almost 1,100 young people under the age of 18 who are under court appointed probation. While under probation, juveniles may be required to perform community service, submit to random drug or alcohol tests or participate in mental health treatment. In some cases, juveniles may be required to work in order to pay fees or fines related to victim restitution or to cover the costs of supervision.
Requirements to Become a Juvenile Probation Officer in Essex County, New Jersey
Juvenile probation officer jobs in Essex County can be found on the New Jersey State government website. In order to qualify for the basic probation officer jobs, candidates must have the following qualifications:
- Bachelor’s degree in social or behavioral science; or
- Bachelor’s degree with at least 24 credit hours in social or behavioral science
- Possess a valid New Jersey driver’s license
Candidates who are currently pursuing their bachelor’s degree may still be able to join the Probation Division if they satisfy these requirements:
- Have two years of professional experience in
- Data acquisition
- Data analysis
- Interviewing individuals
- Production of reports and recommendations; or
- 60 credit hours of post-secondary education
Applicants who meet these requirements may join the probation division as trainee/investigators with limited responsibilities and lower salaries.
Options for Candidates with Advanced Education and Experience
More qualified applicants may obtain jobs for supervisor probation officers if they have:
- Two years of experience in probation casework
- Bachelor’s degree in social or behavioral science
- A master’s degree may satisfy one year of professional experience
Applicants with four years of probation casework and a bachelor’s degree may obtain a position as a Master Probation Officer.
All newly hired probation officers must complete 40 hours of pre-service training and annually re-qualify with firearms.
The Juvenile Justice System in Essex County
Juvenile crime in Essex County is a serious problem with almost 3,977 juvenile arrests taking place in 2009. Of these, 616 were related to drugs and 542 were related to violent crimes. Essex was second in the state, behind only Camden, in total juvenile arrests and was first in violent crimes by juveniles. Despite being the third most populous county in New Jersey, Essex was ranked 10th in crime rate, however, with 48.8 juvenile arrests per 1,000 juveniles aged 10 to 17. Essex was ranked second in violent crime rate with 6.6 violent crime arrests per 1,000 youths. Essex was first among all New Jersey counties for number of juvenile drug arrests. It was ranked fourth in drug arrest rates with 7.6 arrests per 1,000 youths.
Essex County has made significant headway in limiting the number of offenses committed by juveniles. In 2000, the number of juvenile arrests totaled 6,324 while in 2005, this had fallen to 4,983. Compared to the 3,977 in 2009, this represents a decline of 37.6 percent during a ten year period.