The Division of Juvenile Services within the North Dakota Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation supervises underage youths who are serving probation or parole sentences in Grand Forks County. The officers in charge of this community supervision are typically referred to as Juvenile Corrections Specialists. With eight regional offices throughout the state, the DJS includes Grand Forks County in its Northeast Central Judicial District, as well as Nelson County.
North Dakota’s Strong Record on Juvenile Crime
Like much of the country, North Dakota has experienced a steady decline in the number of juvenile arrests in recent years. With a peak number of juvenile arrests in 1998 at 9,175, this number has steadily fallen to 6,676 by 2007. In part this can be attributed to a shrinking population of youths aged seven to 17 in the state, but the crime rate among this age group has also fallen. The crime rate in 1998 was 86.2, but by 2007, the rate had fallen to 75.7 arrests among 1,000 youths. The categories that experienced the most significant declines include property offenses which fell by 25 percent and status offenses which fell by 15 percent.
In 2009, the total number of juvenile cases originating in the Northeast Central District was 749. Within this figure were 46 cases that were eventually diverted to private programs, and 419 cases that were administered through informal adjustment. Another 123 produced formal petitions that led to adjudication, while 161 were not prosecuted. Despite being only two counties, this district produced a disproportionate number of juvenile arrests; almost 9.4 percent of the state’s entire juvenile caseload originated in this district.
Qualifications to Become a Juvenile Probation Officer in Grand Forks County,
Education – In order to become a juvenile probation officer in Grand Forks County candidates must first attend an accredited college or university. Only candidates who have a four-year degree in one of these majors is eligible for these probation officer jobs:
- Social work
- Juvenile justice
- Criminal justice
Skills – Candidates for juvenile probation officer jobs in Grand Forks should be able to demonstrate skill in these areas:
- Establish and foster relationships with the courts, community organizations, treatment centers, and human service agencies
- Design, implement and monitor treatment programs for individuals
- Provide access to emergency treatment services and provide follow up care
- Place juveniles in appropriate treatment facilities and programs
- Testify in court about juveniles
- Prepare documents and maintain records for internal and external agencies
- Interview offenders, victims, law enforcement officials, and families
- Produce reports and recommendations for presiding judges and other legal officers
Training – New juvenile probation officers must complete 40 hours of training prior to active field service. Some offices within the Division of Juvenile Services may also mandate additional in-service training, and almost all provide intensive supervision during the first year of service. After the first year, officers must also obtain training as required by the Professional Development Sessions each year.