There are many jobs and careers that can be achieved in the Criminal Justice field. They can range any where from being a cop on the street to being a Judge trying cases in a court room. While these jobs can be held and done well if a person does not have strong professional ethics, then the job that they do is not worth the paper they write on. The most challenging and rewarding careers that I have found is that of a Juvenile Probation Officer. Being a probation officer is a career that takes a lot of patience and understanding.
The examples that are set by a juvenile probation officer are seen by young teens that are trying to change and have been given a second chance if you will to turn their life around. How the probation officer reacts and treats these teens will be what makes the outcome of their probation a success or a failure. A juvenile probation officer must be someone of sound mind and willing to learn new laws and policy changes quickly. As a probation officer you will be responsible for receiving and reviewing police referrals and deciding the appropriate action that needs to be taken.
You will work closely with the juveniles and their family members to ensure successful completion of their probation. A juvenile probation officer will also have to make recommendations to the court in regards to multiple missed appointments, as well as failure to comply with all the court ordered requirements for completion of the probation. It is important that a juvenile probation officer be able to listen to the probationers and be able to pick up on any signs that they may be in trouble again, or that things may not be going as well as they would like.
Making sure that you are also a positive role model to the juveniles that are on probation is very important. With the right attitude and willingness to help others, a juvenile probation officer can be the difference of a juvenile going to a detention center, or being able to be at home with their families and being allowed to make better decisions so that they will not end up back in the courts again. A juvenile probation officer can be described as being part of the ethics of caring. A probation officer does not want to see their probationer fail, but instead they want to see them succeed so that the juvenile is not coming back as part of the system again.
This is why it is so important to work so closely with the juvenile’s family so that there is a positive outcome to the situation. Probation officers are part of law enforcement and have to use their judgment when it comes to who will or will not succeed at being on probation. This is the reason for having intake sessions and meeting with the accused so that a probation officer can make sure that justice is being served while trying to make sure that they are showing a certain level of concern about the person or people that are involved in the case.
A power point presentation that was created by Keith Branch states that “according to the Texas Legislative Act of 1907 – JPOs must be of good moral character and SERVE WITHOUT COMPENSATION. ” This again relates back to the ethics of caring in regards to the criminal justice system. A juvenile probation officer in 1907 had to have a compassion for helping juveniles to work a job that was not going to offer any kind of compensation. This relates to my personal code of ethics because being a mom I do so many things and I do them without even wanting something in return.
My reward is knowing that I helped my 10-year-old work on his math and then he gets a perfect score on his standardized test that was administered because of the time that was put in by both of us to make sure that he was prepared for that test. Another ethical code that a juvenile probation officer deals with is the “Ethics of virtue. ” They have to look at a juvenile and decide if this is “a good person” who just had a momentary lapse in judgment, or if they are in need of “reprogramming” to help them understand that this is the only second chance that they get.
While going through my first week of training to be an Enrollment Counselor for University of Phoenix, part of our training is that of listening. A portion of the Superman Returns movie was played. Something that Gertrude said in the movie rings true to juveniles who are on probation. “In spite of your past I know you are a good man and all good men deserve a second chance. ” (Superman Returns movie) A juvenile probation officer has this amazing job to ensure that their probationers take that second chance that they are given and make the best out of it.
Over the past nine weeks of this course I have had the opportunity to look deep inside myself and evaluate who I am and what makes me the person that I am. The past week I started training to be an Enrollment Counselor at the University of Phoenix and while going through training, I realized that there are two types of people that you are going to meet and work with through out your life. They are people who are “owners” and are able to take any situation that comes their way and take charge and control what happens in their career.
The second type of person is the “victim”, who blames others for why they messed up on something or have the I cannot do this attitude. I made the discovery that I was a little bit of both while I was able most of the time to take charge of my mistakes and control situations, I was just as happy to crawl back into my little hole and let other people do the job, and think that there was just not another way to do things at that time.
Juvenile probation officers have the ability to help bring their probationers to an ownership mentality by making them responsible for the reason that got them placed on probation in the first place. If a probationer takes the “victim” mentality then the likely hood of them repeating whatever actions that got them to where they are now is even greater. A key thing to remember is that everyone at some point in their lives makes mistakes. What we chose to learn from those mistakes is up to us. Is being a juvenile probation officer a glamorous job with lots of rewards and praise?
Well, that depends on how you look at it. While talking to a co-worker who was a juvenile probation officer he said that one of the most rewarding things for him was to know that he made an impact on at least one person each day while he was doing his job. Now that does not mean that he could fix every single juveniles problems or even guarantee that they would not end up back in the system. The fact that he came to work everyday to make sure that at least one person was being given that opportunity to change and make their lives change in a positive way gave him the satisfaction that he was doing his job right.
Professional ethics and our own personal codes play a key role in the type of person we are and how well we are able to do our job. Being a person of sound ethics and morals is important in ensuring personal success in whatever goals that you may have to endeavor in your life. In a job where you deal with you deal with juveniles that have come from all walks of live, it is very important to remember that you as the probation officer have to maintain a level “playing field” on how the juveniles are treated.
The juvenile that came from a family who has a parent in jail and they live on the “rough” side of town should get the same respect and treatment as the juvenile that comes from a family that has everything and does not think that their child can anything wrong. As the probation officer it is easy to give one a free ride and the other a tough lesson in life. However, you have the power to help teach both of those probationers how to make positive changes that will help them overcome anything that happens in their lives.
With the power to overcome comes a great sense of accomplishment and self satisfaction. Maintaining your personal code and virtue to treat everyone as an equal is what will make the job more rewarding in the long run. References: Branch, K. (2008). Juvenile Probation Officer Responsibilities and Authority. Retrieved May 9, 2008 from, Web site: www. juvenilelaw. org/Education/2008/Papers/Branch. ppt (2006, June 28). Superman Returns. Retrieved May 16, 2008 from, Web site: http://www. imdb. com/title/tt0348150/.