Based on to an analysis of youths who turned 18 in Utah during 2007, 38% of the juveniles in Utah will have some contact with the juvenile justice system. It is predicted that over 29% of them will be charged with at least one offense. These youths will be referred to Juvenile Court. Of the youths referred to Juvenile Court, 25% were found to have committed at least one felony or misdemeanor type of offense in 2007.
The Juvenile Court in Utah serves youths under 18 who have violated a law or have been abused, dependent, or neglected. Under supervision by the Utah Judicial Council, this court employs 29 full-time judges in eight judicial districts. For youths who have been arrested, juvenile probation officers in Utah decide whether the youth should see a judge, commissioner, or have their case terminated if the offense is addressed by the meeting.
Utah’s Juvenile Probation Officer Education and Training Requirements
Applicants for juvenile probation officer positions in Utah must have at least a bachelor’s degree.
After they have been hired, they learn how to become a juvenile probation officer in Utah through one week of training that is an orientation and prepares them to become certified.
Those holding jobs as juvenile probation officers in Utah are required to participate in ongoing training throughout their careers.
What to Expect from Juvenile Probation Officer Careers in Utah
In 2007, nearly 5% of youths that were involved with Juvenile Justice Services were placed on probation. Concern over the rates of juvenile crime led the state of Utah to refine the probation system in the state. The panel that studied the issue recommended increasing the frequency of contact between the youths and their probation officers. Guidelines for juvenile probation in Utah focus on:
- Early intervention
- Consistently applying sanctions
- Supervising the youths intensively
Careers as juvenile probation officers in Utah involve:
- Preparing dispositional reports
- Supervising youth who are on probation
- Conducting evaluations
- Submitting reports on the progress of each youth
In rural areas of Utah, juvenile probation officers also handle in-take of the juvenile. This is performed by a different group of individuals in urban areas.
Juvenile Crime Rates in Utah
Despite a widespread concern about juvenile crime in Utah, fewer than 7% of the youths in the state were responsible for the majority of identified youth crimes in 2007. The juvenile crime rate in most categories fell in 2008 compared to 2007. In particular, the per capita rate of referrals for felonies dropped by nearly 14%.
In 2007, over 30,000 youths were arrested in Utah. Thirty percent of them were arrested for major crimes with most of these arrests being for theft. The next highest categories of arrest were for crimes considered less serious, such as violating liquor laws and disorderly conduct.