Wisconsin has seen a dramatic decline in juvenile arrests with a 9,037 arrests per 100,000 juveniles in 2001 shrinking by 38.1 percent to 5,590 arrests per 100,000 juveniles in 2010. Of the 74,876 juvenile arrests in 2010, 1.7 percent were for violent offenses, 15.5 percent were for property offenses, 0.2 percent were for sex offenses, 19.9 percent were for disorderly conduct, and the remaining 38.4 percent included crimes related to drugs, vandalism, weapons, or simple assault.
Different Roles for Wisconsin’s Juvenile Probation Officers
Despite the drop in juvenile criminal activity, Wisconsin continues to experience a large problem with juvenile delinquency. In order to combat this, Wisconsin has instituted a variety of state and county programs. The Wisconsin Department of Corrections administers probation and parole services in 24 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties. These programs are categorized as Aftercare Supervision or Type 2 Secured Correctional Facilities.
Aftercare Supervision is provided in the most populous areas of the state and involves monitoring youths who reside in their homes or in foster care. Parolees are required to regularly visit their supervising officer. Any violations may result in summary disposition, which can lead to re-incarceration, treatment, or counseling.
Type 2 Secured Correctional Facilities are intensive supervision reserved for high risk juveniles. Offenders who run away from this type of supervision can be charged with felony escape because they are considered to be in legal custody. Within this category, there are several programs for supervision.
- Corrective Sanctions Program: This six-month program permits the youth to remain at home and must wear electronic monitoring devices. There are incentives for positive actions and sanctions for negative behavior.
- Serious Juvenile Offender Program: This is a continuation of a program begun within a correctional facility, but permits re-entry into society even if the correctional sentence has two to three years remaining on it.
- Child Caring Institution: This facility is operated by a child welfare agency
Education to Become a Juvenile Probation and Parole Officer in Wisconsin
The exact requirements necessary to serve as a juvenile probation and parole officer may vary from county to county. In most cases, applicants interested in learning how to become juvenile probation and parole officers in Wisconsin are expected to have a combination of a four-year college degree or two years of professional experience in:
- Behavioral science
- Social work
- Criminal justice
The most competitive candidates should possess an advanced degree like a Master of Social Work, MBA or JD. Professional experience with juveniles is also extremely advantageous during the application process, and may be acquired through paid work, internships or volunteering.
It is important to research deadlines for juvenile probation and parole offer jobs. Some agencies like the Wisconsin Department of Corrections recruits for these jobs only every two years. The starting salary for this job is $35,581 annually.
Training is provided through individual state or county agencies, and most agencies require ongoing education in order to maintain professional knowledge and performance.