What does a Juvenile Detention Officer do?

Learn all about Juvenile Detention Officer duties, skills and much more. Get expert advice on how to become a Juvenile Detention Officer.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 3 min read

A juvenile detention officer is responsible for the care and custody of minors who have been accused of a crime. They work in juvenile detention centers and are responsible for the safety and well-being of the detainees. They also work with the detainees to provide them with guidance and support.

Juvenile Detention Officer job duties include:

  • Maintain custody and control of juveniles in detention.
  • Supervise and monitor the activities of detainees.
  • Conduct searches of detainees and their living areas.
  • Prepare reports on detainees’ activities and behavior.
  • Respond to emergencies and take appropriate action.
  • Maintain order in the detention facility.
  • Enforce rules and regulations governing the behavior of detainees.
  • Investigate incidents involving detainees.
  • Provide guidance and counseling to detainees.

Juvenile Detention Officer Job Requirements

Most juvenile detention officers have a high school diploma or equivalent, although some jobs may require postsecondary education, and most states require juvenile detention officers to complete on-the-job training. Some states also require juvenile detention officers to be certified in CPR and first aid. Previous experience working with youth is often required or preferred.

Juvenile Detention Officer Skills

  • Patience
  • Flexibility
  • Creativity
  • Good communication skills
  • Empathy
  • Good organizational skills
  • Good problem solving skills
  • Good people skills
  • Good writing skills
  • Ability to work well under pressure
  • Ability to stay calm in difficult situations
  • Ability to make quick decisions

Related: Top Juvenile Detention Officer Skills: Definition and Examples

How to become a Juvenile Detention Officer

A career as a Juvenile Detention Officer can be both rewarding and challenging. Here are some tips on how to become a Juvenile Detention Officer:

1. Obtain a high school diploma or GED. While some positions may be available to those without a high school diploma, most agencies require at least a GED.

2. Complete a degree in criminal justice or a related field. Many agencies prefer applicants with a degree, although it is not always required.

3. Complete any required training. Most agencies require new officers to complete a training academy before beginning their duties.

4. Become familiar with juvenile justice laws and procedures. It is important to have a thorough understanding of the laws governing juvenile offenders before working with them.

5. Be prepared for long hours and shift work. Juvenile detention centers are often open 24 hours a day, which means officers may have to work nights, weekends, and holidays.

Related: Juvenile Detention Officer Resume Example

Related: Juvenile Detention Officer Interview Questions (With Example Answers)