Juvenile Probation Essay

Total Length: 967 words ( 3 double-spaced pages)

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I wish to pursue a career in the juvenile probation area of law enforcement, as a juvenile probation officer. Mcmahon (2016) defines 'juvenile probation' as a type of juvenile sentence wherein a juvenile lawbreaker is allowed to reside within his/her communities, instead of being sent to a new home or to prison. Numerous reasons may be cited as to why juvenile lawbreakers are allowed such leniency. It is up to the court to decide whether any juvenile offender is entitled to probation or not, as well as the probation terms. Probation as a whole, forms a rather critical area of criminal justice. At times considered a test, probation enables lawbreakers to serve their sentence partially or entirely outside of jail. From the incarceration system's perspective, probation reduces costs incurred by the state, enabling prisons to concentrate on punishing dangerous and vicious criminals. Probation for juveniles in the preferred sentence as imprisonment is considered particularly harmful to children's physical and mental wellbeing. Probation counts among the 'family of instruments', that law enforcers employ for reducing juvenile delinquency levels.

History, Duties and Responsibilities of Juvenile Probation Officers

The 'juvenile probation' sentence, in fact, predates the United States' very first exclusive juvenile court. The state of Massachusetts had officially begun enforcing probation as the dispositional option for juvenile delinquents, by enabling suspended sentences, in the year 1878. Law-breaking children would be let free provided they undertook to not commit offense again in the course of their probation.
However, pioneers of juvenile courts cast this type of sentence in a different way -- they intended it to be more than just monitoring; rather it was meant to be a "judicial guardianship" process. The innovation is linked to two major consequences. Firstly, the judge was cast in a new and difficult role as case arbiter as well as in the role of a social service administrator. Secondly, this view of juvenile delinquency led to the creation of the probation officer's position. Originally, these officials were assigned to every aspect of juvenile court activity. During the juvenile court's early years, probation officials worked with delinquent, neglected, dependent youngsters and their family members and, beginning from the year 1911, they started taking up maternal pension cases. The probation division of law enforcement had a very humble beginning, with their preliminary development undertaken without much forethought. Volunteer probation officials' original disposition was to offer common sense and extend a hand of friendship to delinquent kids and their family members. This vision was ultimately replaced by attempts at specializing and professionalizing the domain (Peters).

Furthermore, Peters states that early juvenile probation had two key themes linked to it, one of which….....

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Works Cited

Abusaid, Shaddi and Newton, Roger. "The Vital Role of Juvenile Probation Officers." Juvenile Justice Information Exchange, 30 May 2014, http://jjie.org/the-vital-role-of-juvenile-probation-officers/106958/. Accessed 2 September 2016.

McMahon, Mary. What is Juvenile Probation? 28 August 2016, www.ojjdp.gov. Accessed 2 September 2016.

Peters, Clark M. "Social Work and Juvenile Probation: Historical Tensions and Contemporary Convergences." Social Work, Vol 56, Number 4, 2011, 355-365. sw.oxfordjournals.org/content/56/4/355.full.pdf+html. Accessed 2 September 2016.

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