The New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department, Juvenile Justice Division, supervise juvenile probation services in New Mexico. Juvenile officers in the state are required to monitor and counsel at-risk youths that are both on probation and on parole, which is unique when compared to other states throughout the country.
In new Mexico, juvenile parole and probation officers do not have peace officer status, which is pretty standard around the United States, but they do have the authority to make arrests. Without peace officer status, New Mexico’s juvenile parole and probation officers are not authorized to carry firearms.
Education and Experience Requirements in New Mexico
In order to work for the New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department, an applicant must have the proper education and work experience. The minimum qualification is a bachelor’s degree in combination with two years experience in a related field.
Applicants with a bachelor’s degree in one of the behavioral sciences (counseling, social work, psychology, sociology, criminal justice, etc.) are often shown some preference during the preliminary stages of the hiring process. Likewise, applicants with work experience that is relevant to a related field will also be shown preference during the application and interviewing stages of the hiring process. The work experience can be professional, as a volunteer or as part of an internship, but it must be documented and at least two years in length.
Juvenile Parole and Probation Officer Training in New Mexico
Once hired by the Juvenile Justice Division, employees are then required to complete a standardized training during the first year of employment as a juvenile parole and probation officer. Within the first year, all new hires working for the division are required to complete 120 hours of training. The training includes 80 hours worth of comprehensive course training in a variety of subjects that relate to the job.
Classes in the training program include:
- Proper arrest procedures
- Counseling methods
- Outreach techniques
- How to conduct probation and parole investigations effectively
Additional Training for Juvenile Parole and Probation Officers in New Mexico
After the first year of employment, officers with the New Mexico Juvenile Justice Division are then required to complete an additional 40 hours of training and continuing education courses.
Forty hours of training is required every year in which the juvenile parole and probation officer is working for the state. The purpose of the additional training is to strengthen the core skills needed to be an effective juvenile parole and probation officer so as to increase the chances of probationer rehabilitation.