A Probation Officer’s Career Path in Criminal Justice System


In society, many people, including young adults with bright futures, have been remanded, taken to probation, and even sentenced to prison following their misconduct and engagement in criminal activities. Sometimes I attend court sessions, especially when I am free, to listen to the charges being read to the offenders. In most circumstances, a good number of criminals plead guilty for offenses worth avoidance. When the system properly engages its professionals from every department, both lawbreakers and their families can be positively influenced to have behavioral change for better living in society. My focus is to become a probation officer in the criminal justice system. Thus, this term paper will elaborate on my goals for achieving this position, the challenges these officers face, and the impact I will bring to the agency when I secure the post.

The criminology program has made me realize my potential and interest in bringing change to society, especially for people who face charges for their criminal acts. The course has exposed me to various ideas that, if implemented, would help individuals or victims of wrongdoing to have a changed lifestyle. Generally, working with the community and the court system is effective in nurturing proper change amongst the offenders and improving their behavior.

My goal is to gain relevant skills and knowledge during the course work to enhance my ability to work in the criminal justice system. I want to become an expert in this agency and help change the offenders from breaking the law after completing their sentence period in the facilities. I would take an internship program with the department of justice to gain experience to develop my career properly. I will work as a probation officer to prevent the criminals from repeating the previous conduct that can make them arrested and charged again.

Probation Officer

In the criminal justice system, I would pick the post of the probation officer to fit my goal of preventing offenders from engaging in unlawful behaviors in the future upon release from the facility. The position will grant me the opportunity to interact with the criminals most of the time to understand their acts and formulate ideas while applying the knowledge of criminology to bring change to them (Van Deinse et al. 272). Moreover, I will be able to monitor changes and suggest measures to ensure the delinquents abide by the court ruling. Furthermore, the career path will facilitate interaction with the communities to teach them how to help develop and encourage new conduct in the individuals under probation. The job will allow me to assist families and relatives in re-integrate with their loved ones once they have undergone vigorous rehabilitation.

Intrapersonal skills, effective communication, and leadership abilities would make it easier to execute duties in the field. I have the capability to conduct a proper investigation and create a good rapport with people in the community, and the overall team members are essential for the position of a probation officer. Moreover, I can keep good records and use the computer system; hence, I will be able to follow and monitor changes in the system to enhance efficiency.

Importance of Criminal Justice System

The criminal justice system is a significant body that ensures people and the community have a peaceful coexistence. The agency has various departments that promote lawful acts and protect vulnerable individuals in society (Sugie and Turney 730). According to my career choice, the agency has the following positive impacts on the community and specific offenders: preventing crime, creating a law-abiding community, and promoting fairness.

Crime Prevention

The police, which is a component of the agency, help in promoting the picture that criminal activity is bad by arresting wrongdoers and presenting them to the court for trial. Judges also subject the lawbreakers to different sentencing, thus giving a strong message to people and society about the negative impact of participating in activities that are against the rule. The process of jailing criminals lowers the number of individuals in society hence reducing the occurrence of criminality. Similarly, when delinquents are put in probation facilities, they are taught good morals. The exposure enables them to change their previous acts and adopt new ways to live a better life in the community, discouraging them from future involvement in unlawful behaviors.

Creating Law-Bidding Community

Through law enforcement officers, judges, and other professionals, the agency ensures that anyone who has committed a felony is taken to court to answer for their doings. The establishment of rehabilitation facilities also plays a significant role in helping the offenders to improve and adapt better ways other than committing the crime (Masters 46). In most cases, the lawbreakers who have gone through the facilities learn new skills which enable them to cease destructive behaviors and abide by the law.

Fairness Promotion

The criminal justice system ensures that offenders face trials to determine whether they are guilty of the accusation made against them. This makes prosecutors prosecute the right individuals after doing thorough research about the offense committed. Furthermore, upon completion of the sentence, the body allows the convicts to reunite with the community to enhance their growth as better persons. In addition, the use of parole and probation practices gives the offenders to remain and change their acts while within the community.

Challenges Facing Probation Officers

Despite the value and role the criminal justice system plays in society, working as a probation officer in the agency is challenging and can make it an unwelcoming career path for most people who are willing to pursue it. Some of the shortcomings include interacting with dangerous convicts, high levels of stress, and low chances of happiness on the job. These aspects make the selection to be less attractive and thus lowering the morale to seek the post.

Working with Offenders

I will have to interact with the convicts in the rehabilitation facility to assess their recovery progress in most cases. Some of the criminals may be unwelcoming and dangerous; therefore, they can be a threat to my well-being. Working in such an environment can instill fear, thus lowering the ability and the need to provide them with the best approaches to facilitate their correctional services.

High Level of Stress

The profession requires an individual to be time conscious while handling various cases. Due to many caseloads, it is possible to be mixed up, causing delays that may result in low performance. The occupation needs the professional to meet the stated deadlines, which can also be challenging because of the paperwork involved causing burnout (Wirkus et al. 355). Failure to comply and meet the objectives would result in increased stress levels.

Reduced Happiness

The nature of the work probation officers performs is tiresome, leading to a high level of burnout. Dealing with different individuals and working under pressure makes the officers engaged most of the time, leaving them with limited periods to focus on their self-development. The process also makes them meet individuals that interfere with their duty which can cause termination. Furthermore, they involve in difficult situations that affect their mental health leading to low happiness.

My Impacts on Criminal Justice System once Employed by the Agency

When I secure employment with the criminal justice system as a probation officer, I will ensure I reduce the chances of offenders being convicted in the future. During the rehabilitation process, I will use various approaches, like engaging the criminals in self-reflection evaluation to allow them to see themselves through the past to enable them to change and formulate their future lives. I will also inspire leadership ability amongst the lawbreakers through a transformation so that they can be able to manage themselves on completion of the sentence. Moreover, I will encourage fellow staff members by establishing a conducive work environment to lower the effects and pressure that can lead to high stress. In addition, I will counsel the wrongdoers and engage them in practices that facilitate their mental development.


In summary, the criminal justice system is significant in ensuring the community has peace. Working as a probation officer in the agency allows an individual to bring a positive change in society through interacting with offenders and people and teaching ways to stay on the side of the law. It also makes it easier to influence offenders to change their behaviors, thus preventing future convictions. Using the competencies and knowledge from the course program, I will positively impact the profession and society.

Works Cited

Masters, Ruth E. Counseling Criminal Justice Offenders. Sage Publications, 2021.

Sugie, Naomi F., and Kristin Turney. “Beyond Incarceration: Criminal Justice Contact and Mental Health.” American Sociological Review, vol. 82, no. 4, 2017, pp. 719-743. Web.

Van Deinse, Tonya B., et al. “Probation Officers’ Perceptions of Supervising Probationers with Mental Illness in Rural and Urban Settings.” American Journal of Criminal Justice, vol. 43, no. 2, 2018, pp. 267-277.

Wirkus, Łukasz, et al. “Burnout among Probation Officers in Poland and the Role of Preferred Styles of Coping with Stress.” International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, vol. 18, no. 1, 2021, p. 355. Web.

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DemoEssays. "A Probation Officer's Career Path in Criminal Justice System." October 15, 2022. https://demoessays.com/a-probation-officers-career-path-in-criminal-justice-system/.