Juvenile probation services in Suffolk County, New York are conducted through the probation department of the Suffolk County Government. The probation officers in this department supervise adults and juveniles.
Suffolk County has experienced a sharp decline in the number of juvenile delinquents in recent years. In 2005, the number of juvenile delinquents peaked at 608, while this had declined to 140 by 2011.
Successful Programs for Suffolk County Juveniles
Some of the most important facilities used to intervene in juvenile cases is the South Oaks Hospital Adolescent Outpatient Clinic. This clinic provides psychiatric services for youths who are currently diverted from family court. The program for juveniles involves assessment, diagnostic tools, residential programs, non-secure detention, and outpatient services. The South Oaks facility has been an influential factor in the reduction of repeat offenses among youths.
Another important program is the Family Service League, which involves probation officers at the earliest possible stages of juvenile cases. Probation officers identify possible candidates for the Family Service League at intake and divert them. This program utilizes a home-based approach which introduces rehabilitative services within the home setting of the offender.
The juvenile Drug Court has played a critical role in limiting detentions and facilitating rehabilitation through Suffolk County probation officers. Almost 79 percent of drug court participants are permitted to reside at their home. Nearly 73 percent of participants had to submit to a drug test during their period of supervision. Almost 45 percent of participants had an intermediate sanction implemented including confinement to a secure or non-secure facility for up to five days.
How to Become a Juvenile Probation Officer in Suffolk County, New York
Entry-level juvenile probation officer jobs in Suffolk County are designated as “officer trainee jobs,” which requires candidates to have the following qualifications:
- Be a U.S. citizen
- Have a valid driver’s license
- Have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college with at least 30 semester credit hours in behavioral or social sciences
- Must be able to obtain New York Peace Officer Certification
- Must pass a medical evaluation and drug screening
- Must pass a psychological evaluation
Although it is not required, preference is granted to applicants with two years of probation/parole experience and Spanish language competency.
The New York Peace officer certification process requires that candidates meet these requirements:
- Be at least 21 years of age
- Have vision at least 20/100 without correction
- Be capable of performing exercises involving
- 1.5 mile run
- Sit ups
- Push ups
The training for new juvenile probation offices includes 70 hours of pre-employment training as well as 35 hours of peace officer training, which will include training with firearms. Upon graduation from these training programs, officers will be required to demonstrate proficiency with firearms.
In following years, re-qualification with firearms use is required along with at least 21 hours of additional training.