Slightly over 118,000 people were on probation in New Jersey in December 2011. Probation officers supervise the non-federal cases of these probationers as part of the Administrative Office of the Courts. Probation services in New Jersey are organized at the county level in most cases. Passaic County has its own Probation Division that had 78 employees in 2012.
The Passaic County Probation Division is located in Paterson. In 2012, it moved from the historic Passaic County Courthouse Annex to a location in the Watson Building that is better suited to probation operations, including providing services to the public.
The high quality of probation services in Passaic County was made evident by the awarding of distinguished service awards to five Passaic County probation officers. The Chief Probation Officers of New Jersey made the awards in July 2011.
Passaic County Probation Officer Job Duties
The jobs of probation officers in Passaic County involve:
- The enforcement of court orders
- The supervision of offenders
- Monitoring the behavior of probationers
- Intervening when necessary to produce positive outcomes
There are different sections in the Passaic County Probation Division to carry out distinct functions for adult probationers:
- Adult Services
- Child Support Enforcement Services
- Special Services
- Community Services
Requirements and Training to Become a Probation Officer in Passaic County
A bachelor’s degree is the main requirement to for candidates interested in jobs as probation officers in Passaic County. Preferred fields of study include criminology or one of the behavioral sciences. Additional requirements include being at least 21 years of age at the time the appointment starts and having a valid driver’s license.
New officers in the Probation Division are provided with comprehensive training, so they learn how to become probation officers in Passaic County. Training includes learning how to assess the risk level and needs of new probationers and how to manage caseloads to bring about the goals of integrating the offenders back into society as productive members. Recognizing domestic violence is another area of training provided.
Federal probation in New Jersey is supervised by probation officers that work for the U.S. Probation Office’s District of New Jersey. A satellite office of this agency is located in Paterson.
Adult Services in Passaic County
The Adult Services section supervises adult offenders, including collecting assessments, fines, and fees assessed by the courts. In 1997, the Passaic County Probation Department was the first in the state to reach one million dollars in money collected.
The Central Intake Unit classifies those placed on probation according to their level of risk and what services they require. After the initial thirty days of supervision, the probation division assigns the cases to regular caseloads for the rest of their supervision. The probation officers in Adult Service work as member of teams that include both supervisors and line staff.
Adult Services contains a specialized group of cases that are those of people sentenced as part of the Drug Court Initiative. These probationers were charged with distributing drugs within 1,000 feet of a school. Probation officer careers involve supervising these offenders much more closely than normal probationers and making sure they receive in-patient treatment.
The Adult Special Services team provides maximum levels of supervision to sex offenders and those who have committed domestic violence offenses. In addition, they supervise Carter/Krol cases. These are instances in which the individual has been acquitted for reasons of insanity and has been released into the community subject to supervision.