Topics: Probation officer, Psychology, Probation Pages: 2 (824 words) Published: May 20, 2010
I interviewed Joe Neal, Deputy Probation Officer III, Mendocino County Adult Probation. I learned a lot about the Probation Officer’s job and Joe during my time interviewing him. Joe started his law enforcement career at a young age. He did not go into much detail about his career start, but did tell me that he eventually ended up being a Juvenile Court Judge. He retired then went to work at the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Department. Due to the stress and shift work there he decided he would have more impact on people if he were in probation. He applied and went through the process and was hired. His goal was to help people turn their lives around and live drug and alcohol free productive lives. Although probation is also a high stress job, Joe said he would choose this profession again if he were younger. I asked him about his daily routine and job responsibilities. Case load seemed to be the majority of his day. Reading reports, petitions and distributing cases to the 65 probation officers in his office. I am told that a pre-sentencing report can take from 8 to 12 hours to complete. There are on average of 25 to over 100 that come in on a daily basis. On average there are from 70 to 100 cases per officer in our county at the adult probation office and 15 to 40 at juvenile probation. When I asked Joe about transfers or advancement, he smiled, almost laughed and simply said “No way.” He explained to me that in the economic crunch and with a lack of providers in our county, things are at a stand still. When the economy is not so bad, a transfer can usually take place on a case by case basis and are recommended by a supervisor. We got onto the subject on personal rewards of the job. Much like me, Joe takes great pride in helping people start their lives over on a positive drug and alcohol free path. Seeing people accomplish this he says “Is very rewarding.” I asked him about the hiring process and what it takes to be a probation officer. He...
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