Careers Working With Juvenile Delinquents

Careers in community and social services, protective services, law enforcement and education offer opportunities to work with juvenile delinquents. This article looks at professionals who commonly work with young offenders and the nature of their job duties.

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Career Options for Working With Juvenile Delinquents

Juvenile delinquents are individuals under the age of 18 who commit crimes. There are many professionals who provide services intended to help teenagers who are in high-risk situations avoid crime. There are also professionals who work with juvenile delinquents after they have been caught committing a crime. Explore a few of these options below:

Job Title Median Salary (2016)* Job Outlook (2016-2026)*
Probation Officers and Correctional Treatment Specialists $50,160 6%
Social and Human Service Assistants $31,810 16%
Police and Sheriff's Patrol Officers $59,680 7%
Correctional Officers and Bailiffs $42,820 -7% (decline)
Substance Abuse, Behavior Disorder and Mental Health Counselors $42,150 20%
High School Teachers $58,030 8%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Career Information for Working With Juvenile Delinquents

Probation Officers and Correctional Treatment Specialists

Probation officers oversee individuals who are put on probation, while parole officers work with individuals after they have been released from jail. Probation and parole officers may work with juvenile delinquents to oversee their behavior while they're on probation or after being released from a juvenile facility. Correctional treatment specialists can help juvenile offenders by developing strategies to help them reintegrate into society and become productive members. A bachelor's degree in a field such as criminal justice is required to become a probation officer or correctional treatment specialist, and these individuals are usually expected to pass background checks and drug testing as well.

Social and Human Service Assistants

Social and human service assistants are required to have a high school diploma or GED and on-the-job training, although some employers may prefer applicants with a postsecondary certificate or associate's degree. Social and human service assistants work with community members with specific needs and help them locate services or collaborate with other professionals to develop services. There are opportunities for social and human service assistants to focus on working with juvenile delinquents as case managers or by creating and implementing programs designed to address young offenders without incarcerating them.

Police and Sheriff's Patrol Officers

Police and sheriff's patrol officers respond to emergencies, monitor areas to prevent crime, identify suspects when crime occurs and arrest and interview suspects. Police and sheriff's patrol officers may detain, interview and charge juvenile delinquents with crimes. They may also work with special programs designed to prevent young offenders from reoffending. Police and sheriff's patrol officers must graduate from high school or have a GED, pass physical fitness tests and complete academy training to enter this career field; college studies may be required for some positions.

Correctional Officers and Bailiffs

After earning a high school diploma or GED, correctional officers and bailiffs can complete a training program for professionals in their field; those who work for federal facilities may also need a bachelor's degree. Correctional officers monitor individuals who are incarcerated, while bailiffs oversee courtroom proceedings and bring prisoners into and out from the courtroom. Correctional officers who work for juvenile detention centers will spend their time supervising juvenile delinquents. Bailiffs who work in juvenile courts will be responsible for ensuring juvenile delinquents are brought in and out of the courtroom and will also make sure that the rules of the court are followed.

Substance Abuse, Behavior Disorder and Mental Health Counselors

Substance abuse and behavior disorder counselors usually need a bachelor's degree in a relevant field, such as psychology, while mental health counselors must have master's degree and complete an internship. These professionals work with and provide counseling to people who struggle with addictions or mental health issues. Those who work with juvenile delinquents may implement programs designed to help youth who have addictions or live with a parent who is an addict. They also implement other programs designed to help juvenile delinquents make better choices or develop skills that can help them avoid committing more crimes.

High School Teachers

High school teachers instruct students who are in grades 9 through 12. They prepare classes, provide information to students and grade student work. High school teachers can opt to work at juvenile detention facilities where they spent their time educating young offenders. A bachelor's degree and teaching license is required to become a high school teacher.

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