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What are the Different Types of Probation Jobs?

By T. Webster
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Probation officers and probation officer assistants are two of the most common types of probation jobs. Officers work with people who have been convicted of a crime. A probation officer assistant usually helps a probation officer in writing reports and/or completing other paperwork-related functions.

In general, probation jobs are done in connection with prison or government systems. These jobs often take the form of probation officers who supervise either adults or juveniles who have been convicted of a crime. People supervised by a probation officer are usually sentenced to probation instead of prison time. A probation officer’s job is to monitor these people so that they follow any court orders do not commit more crimes.

In some cases, probation jobs involve working with specific kinds of offenders, such as sex offenders or people who have been charged with felonies. These jobs can also specialize in working with either adults or children. Generally, probation officer jobs entail handling a heavy caseload and a variety of offenders. The job is sometimes seen as administrative more than rehabilitative, because probation officers typically do not have extensive time to spend with each client.

The duties are similar for both adult and juvenile probation jobs. Both youth and adult probation jobs require monitoring clients’ behavior and keeping written records of any progress or transgressions. People who have probation jobs are responsible for seeing that the the terms of probation set by the court system are carried out. This is often done by meeting with clients at their homes or in the probation officer’s office.

Adult probation jobs can include checking up on clients at home or at work to monitor their progress or living standards. If a client does something that violates a condition of probation, the probation officer will report it. Depending on the seriousness of the violation, the client could be subject to police involvement and court sanctions, including prison time.

Youth probation officers typically work with schools or colleges. For example, a condition of probation might require students to maintain good attendance and grades in school. A school will usually contact a probation officer if there is a violation of one of the terms of probation.

Court appearances are also common for probation officers. This aspect of the job can require compiling reports or giving court depositions. The probation officer is often responsible for making recommendations to a court regarding a client. These recommendations can include revoking probation or asking the court to modify certain orders.

Some social work is involved in probation officer jobs. A probation officer might recommend various community programs to help correct the behavior of a client. To achieve this, probation officers must have good working relationships with various community agencies.

Probation officer jobs often require a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, social work or a related field. In some cases, a master’s degree might be required. In addition, passing a licensing exam might be required.

Practical Adult Insights is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

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