The juvenile crime in Pennsylvania is governed and directed through the Pennsylvania Juvenile Act, which is rooted in the philosophy of youth redemption, victim restoration, and community protection.
The Juvenile Court Judges’ Commission oversees the juvenile probation system in Pennsylvania, which provides both probation and aftercare functions within the Commonwealth. Within Pennsylvania there are 44 counties that have combined adult/juvenile probation departments, while 27 counties have dedicated juvenile probation departments.
The Juvenile Court Judges’ Commission is responsible for providing advice and oversight to Pennsylvania’s juvenile courts; for establishing the standards used throughout the juvenile courts; and for establishing personnel and employment standards and practices used in the state’s probation offices.
Requirements for Juvenile Probation Officer Careers in Pennsylvania
Juvenile probation officers must possess a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university and provide proof that they have completed at least 18 credits in behavioral or social sciences to qualify for Pennsylvania juvenile probation officer jobs.
Individuals without a bachelor’s degree must possess at least four years of related experience, and they must pass a written test and an oral exam to be considered for employment.
Further, each county may require candidates to complete a number of exams designed to test their skills, knowledge, aptitude, attitude, and abilities.
How to Become a Juvenile Probation Officer through Training in Pennsylvania
All new juvenile probation officers in Pennsylvania must complete a 12-month probationary period, during which they will undergo additional training under intensive supervision. All new juvenile probation officers can expect to be evaluated on a semi-annual basis during their probation period, with individuals receiving unsatisfactory evaluations being subject to termination.
Thereafter, juvenile probation officers in Pennsylvania must complete at least 40 hours of training each year. All approved training programs are offered through the Center for Juvenile Justice Training and Research, which is a joint effort between the Juvenile Court Judges’ Commission and Shippensburg University. Each year, more than 2,000 juvenile probation officer and related professionals complete the 50-plus center-sponsored seminars and workshops.