Supervision of juvenile offenders sentenced to probation in New York City is conducted by the New York City Department of Probation. New York City defines juvenile delinquents as criminal offenders older than seven but younger than 16. In 2007, 391 juvenile offenders were sentenced to probation in New York City. There were 109 juvenile probation officers with 52 of these having caseloads between zero and 25 cases and 57 having caseloads between 26 and 50.
The NYC Juvenile Justice Process
The legal process for youths who enter the juvenile justice system begins with intake. A probation officer interviews the youth, the arresting officer, the victims, and the youth’s family. Once enough information has been gathered, the intake officer decides what option is in the best interests of the offender and all interested parties. The probation officer may choose any of the following options
- Referral to Family Court
- Community service
- Community based treatment
- Letter of apology
If the case is referred to the Family Court, then the Office of the Corporation Counsel, which will prosecute the case, is notified.
The DOP then initiates an investigation to determine the most appropriate remedy for the offender and the community. If probation is recommended, the Family Court sentences the offender to supervision for up to two years. During this period, the probation officer is tasked with rehabilitating the youth through support, counseling and life coaching. The officer may also provide access to community programs like drug or mental health treatment.
Requirements to Become a Juvenile Probation Officer in New York City
Degree Requirements – Juvenile probation officer jobs in New York City may be found through the NYC Department of Probation. The entry level position is designated Juvenile Probation Officer Trainee and has these requirements:
- Possession of a bachelor’s degree with at least 30 semester hours in
- Social work
- Rehabilitation counseling
- Possession of a valid driver’s license
- Ability to obtain Peace Officer certification
Although it is not a requirement, two years of professional experience in or outside of community supervision is highly preferred for candidates serious about learning how to become juvenile probation officers in New York City.
General Requirements – Peace officers in New York City must meet standards set by the Office of Public Safety. These include
- At least 21 years of age but no older than 36
- Uncorrected vision of at least 20/100
- Successful completion of the physical abilities test which includes
- Sit ups
- Push ups
- 1.5 mile run
The starting salary for juvenile probation officer trainees is $35,540.
Training Requirements – Newly hired juvenile probation officers must complete 70 hours of probation officer training, and 35 hours of peace officer training, which will include firearms use. New York City juvenile probation officers are authorized to carry firearms on and off duty, so must qualify with firearms on an annual basis.
After the first year, juvenile probation officers must complete 21 hours of additional training each year throughout their career.