Probation Officer Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

Your job description is the first touchpoint between your company and your new hire. With millions of people searching for jobs on Indeed each month, a great job description can help you attract the most qualified candidates to your open position. To get you started, here are some tips for creating an effective job description.

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Probation Officer job title

A great job title typically includes a general term, level of experience and any special requirements. The general term will optimise your job title to show up in a general search for jobs of the same nature. The level of experience will help you attract the most qualified applicants by outlining the amount of responsibility and prior knowledge required. And if your position is specialised, consider including the specialisation in the job title as well. But avoid using internal titles, abbreviations or acronyms to make sure people understand what your job posting is before clicking.

  • Probation Officer
  • Entry-level Probation Officer
  • Youth Probation Officer
  • Probation and Parole Officer
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Probation Officer job summary

A great job description starts with a compelling summary of the position and its role within your company. Your summary should provide an overview of your company and expectations for the position. Outline the types of activities and responsibilities required for the job so jobseekers can determine if they are qualified, or if the job is a good fit.

Example of a Probation Officer job summary

Our crown court is hiring Probation Officers to take over case management duties for young offenders. The successful candidates will oversee the cases of youths who have been released from custody and have modified privileges outside of confinement. This position requires both enforcement of probation terms as well as the rehabilitation of youths who are returning to their families and schools. We’re looking for compassionate but discipline-focused law enforcement professionals who can provide personalised guidance to the youths under their care. He or she must report delinquent acts immediately and comply with all conditions of probationary release.

Probation Officer responsibilities and duties

The responsibilities and duties section is the most important part of the job description. Here you should outline the functions this position will perform on a regular basis, how the job functions within the organization and who the employee reports to.

  • Meet with youths on a regular basis to review school records, discuss any probationary requirements and perform drug screening as necessary
  • Review cases on a regular basis to ensure compliance and follow-up procedures are followed
  • Report any delinquencies or other problems to supervising officer immediately and work together to reach a conclusion about next steps
  • Build report with the subjects of all cases as well as their families and remain in close communication with youths’ parents and/or guardians
  • Advise youths about school responsibilities, drug and alcohol abstinence, behavioural issues and any other subjects with which they appear to struggle
  • Discuss progress with rehabilitation programmes, community service and other activities related to probation

Probation Officer qualifications and skills

Next, outline the required and preferred skills for your position. This may include education, previous job experience, certifications and technical skills. You may also include soft skills and personality traits that you envision for a successful employee. While it may be tempting to include a long list of skills and requirements, including too many could dissuade qualified candidates from applying. Keep your list of qualifications concise, but provide enough detail with relevant keywords and terms.

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Criminology, Criminal Justice or related field
  • 2+ years’ related experience in case management, probation or law enforcement
  • Experience working with at-risk youth preferred
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