More than 300 probation officers supervise some 14,000 adult and juvenile offenders each year in West Virginia. There were 5,866 new juvenile probation cases in West Virginia in 2008. Of the 3,581 delinquency cases in the state in 2008, 2,948 were juveniles.
Charleston is the county seat of Kanawha County, which comprises the 13th Judicial District. In 2009 there were 219 juvenile cases in the 13th Judicial District, the largest district in the state.
Qualifications for Juvenile Probation Officer Careers in Kanawha County
Individuals seeking juvenile probation officer jobs in Charleston and throughout Kanawha County must take and pass a written examination. Candidates interested in learning how to become Kanawha County juvenile probation officers are encouraged to apply online. Only those candidates who possess a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university in one of the following fields are eligible to take the written exam:
- Business administration
- Business management
- Political science
- Public administration
- Criminal justice
- Social work
- Organizational behavior/management
Juvenile probation officers are granted the right to carry firearms upon review by the Commissioner of West Virginia Division of Corrections. Those individuals who carry firearms must pass a complete psychological evaluation and complete annual firearms training through the West Virginia Corrections Academy.
Further, all juvenile probation officers in West Virginia must complete, annual, in-service training as required by the West Virginia Supreme Court.
Kanawha County’s Juvenile Justice System
The Supreme Court of Appeals currently handles juvenile probation supervision, through the state’s 31 judicial districts. Operating out of circuit courts, probation officers, through the Division of Probation Services, oversee the juvenile drug courts in West Virginia. Further, the West Virginia Interstate Compact for Juveniles, which handles more than 100 active cases each year, operates out of the Division of Probation Services.
Juvenile probation officers in Charleston often deal with:
- Specialized probation
- School-based probation
- Intensive probation
- Risk/needs assessments
- Case planning
- Probation incentives and sanctions
- Violation of probation
- Probation performance measures
Probation officers in West Virginia may work under one of the following titles:
- Adult probation officer
- Juvenile probation officer
- Adult/juvenile probation officer