1 answer

How do I choose between being an adult probation officer or juvenile probation officer?

Asked Torrington, Connecticut

I want to be a probation officer but I don't know if I want to be for adults or juveniles. What types of things should I consider while makin my decision? #helpingothers -makeadifference-lawenforcement-army-psycologist-counselor

1 answer

Denise’s Answer


Hi Hailey, I wanted to share with you my Probation Officer journey. I began my career as a juvenile probation officer, it is a great starting point because it will allow you to learn about the probation process for juveniles from intake to final rehabilitation. Once you receive training and certification as a deputy probation officer, you have the option of working in an office, at a juvenile facility or in the field. All positions are challenging and after a few years, you generally find a position that you will enjoy. If you are a field deputy, you visit probationers at school, in their homes and in the community. Further, field deputies write many monthly reports to update their client’s progress.

Conversely, working with adult probationers comes with a different set of challenges. Adult probationers are tasked with responsibilities that juvenile probationers don’t have. Adults are required to maintain employment, remain drug free and in many cases they often find themselves incarcerated as a result of failing to adhere to the terms of probation. Many times it is difficult to get adults to comply with the rules.

Overall, I would recommend starting your career as a juvenile probation officer while learning all you can about the criminal justice system. In time, you will have many opportunities to explore the adult division of probation.

Good luck, I know you will be a tremendous success.

Denise recommends the following next steps:

  • Volunteer at a nearby probation department as an intern.
  • View career related videos on the internet where probation officers share their stories.