In Bernalillo County, New Mexico, Juvenile Probation Officers (JPO) employed with the Children Youth and Families Department of the State of New Mexico to conduct community supervision of juveniles. The District Attorney in conjunction with the presiding judge and juvenile’s attorney decide if probation is the optimal choice for the offender. If the juvenile fails make progress during the original period of probation, then the judge is empowered by state law to add an additional year on to the original sentence, up until the offender is aged 21. The type of probation supervision may vary, with Intensive Supervision as the most restrictive.
As the largest judicial district within the CYFD in New Mexico, Bernalillo County has a large staff. The Albuquerque office has a staff of 43 juvenile probation officers, 13 community support officers and seven JPO supervisors. Community support officers provide additional services related to administration and law enforcement.
How to Become a Juvenile Probation Officer in Bernalillo County, New Mexico
Juvenile probation officer jobs in Bernalillo County, New Mexico can only be offered to applicants with the following criteria:
- Possession of at least an associate’s degree along with 15 semester hours of courses in
- Police science
- Juvenile justice
- Public administration
- Possession of a valid New Mexico driver’s license
- Be a U.S. citizen
- Be at least 18 years of age
- No felony convictions
- Pass a drug test
- Be able to obtain certification in self-defense, baton, chemical agents and handcuffing
- Have a home telephone and be on-call
- Willingness to travel
Prior to employment, candidates will be subjected to a background investigation, medical evaluation and drug test as a standard protocol for becoming a juvenile probation officer in Bernalillo County.
Within one year of employment, juvenile probation officers must complete a several Defensive Tactics and Restraint Courses including
- Mace/OC Spray
- First aid and CPR
New officers must also complete 120 hours of pre-employment training, which includes 80 hours of classroom instruction. After the first year, juvenile probation officers must receive 40 hours of additional training per year.
Successes for Juvenile Probation Officers in Bernalillo County, New Mexico
In recent years, Bernalillo County has experience a significant decline in juvenile probation cases. In 1999, the number of juvenile probation cases peaked at 10,346. In following years, the number of cases has gradually declined with 7,435 cases in 2006. This constitutes a 28.1 percent decline in the number of juvenile probation cases over a seven-year period.
Alternatives to incarceration have reached a large number of at risk youths in 2005. From almost 4,282 diversions, 541 were enrolled in Drug Awareness Class, 931 participated in Alcohol Awareness Class, and 254 took part in Alcohol Drug Education Programs. Another 384 also enrolled in an Alternatives to Violence class, and 175 under 12 children participated in Juvenile Early Intervention Programs.