In Utah, juvenile probation is administered by district courts, and Utah County is in the Fourth Judicial District, which has juvenile probation offices in Provo, Orem, American Fork and the far less populated counties of Juab, Millard and Wasatch.
Best known as the home of Brigham Young University, Provo is the hub of the 4th Judicial District, and its juvenile probation officers handle all cases in southern Utah. The American Fork office manages juvenile cases in northern Utah County.
Becoming a juvenile probation officer in Utah County may involve working with the Drug Court Program and a unique Citation and Diversion Unit that focuses on youths who commit misdemeanors for the first, second or third time. These juveniles and their parents are directed to attend a citation class, which educates them about Utah laws and other relevant matters. It provides a consequence for juveniles who commit minor offenses without seriously damaging their future life prospects.
Juvenile Delinquency in Utah
According to state crime records, slightly more than 30,000 juveniles were arrested in 2007 with 30 percent of these accused of serious crimes, primarily theft followed by violations of Utah’s liquor laws and disorderly conduct. The juvenile crime rate fell in all categories in 2008.
How to Begin a Career as a Juvenile Probation Officer in Utah County
Juvenile probation officer jobs in Utah County require at least a bachelor’s degree from an accredited four-year college/university in criminal justice, psychology, social work or a related field. A master’s degree is preferred.
Work experience that involves teaching or counseling juveniles is a plus. All recruits must attend one week of training as well as periodic training sessions throughout the juvenile probation officer’s career.
Applications are only accepted for available jobs. All job openings are listed on the Utah Department of Human Resource Management website under, “Utah Job Match,” the statewide online application system, along with instructions on how to submit an online application.
Juvenile Probation Officer Responsibilities and Duties in Utah County
Early intervention and intense supervision are the main goals of Utah County juvenile probation officers. In 2007, concern over the number of youthful offenders led to an increase in the frequency and intensity of contacts between juvenile offenders and their probation officers.
The responsibilities of juvenile potation officers are basically the same throughout the state except that in rural areas the same officer handles the initial intake of an arrested juvenile as well as his/her follow-up supervision while in urban areas different officers take care of the two responsibilities. All juvenile probation officers share the following duties:
- Obtain court-ordered terms of probation
- Ensure that those terms and conditions are followed
- Investigate juvenile’s school and workplace (if any) records
- Analyze the family situation
- Monitor the offender’s activities and friendships
- Arrange for any needed counseling, substance abuse treatment, etc.
- Assess the juvenile’s mental and physical health
- Submit regular reports to the Court