Human Resources

Probation Officer Trainee I



DISTINGUISHING FEATURES OF THE CLASS:  This is a one-year traineeship used to appoint individuals to an entry-level Probation Officer I position in a probation department responsible for the care of adults and juveniles subject to probation supervision or intake services which require them to meet certain standards of conduct. A Probation Officer Trainee I is responsible for participating in a continuous in-service training program regarding the investigative, supervision, counseling and coaching duties and responsibilities of a Probation Officer I and, under close and on-going supervision, performs such duties and exercises such responsibilities in a limited nature. When a Probation Officer Trainee I participates in a traineeship for a Probation Officer I position, he/she is required to satisfy the additional requirements for these positions and be capable to learn the specialized work they perform. Probation Officer Trainee I work is performed under the direct supervision of a probation professional. Upon successful completion of the one-year traineeship the incumbent is appointed to the position of Probation Officer I without further examination. A Probation Officer Trainee I is a Peace Officer pursuant to Criminal Procedure law Section 2.10 and may be authorized to carry a firearm in the performance of his/her duties. The incumbent will perform all related duties as required.


Participates in an in-service training program regarding the investigation, supervision, counseling and coaching duties and responsibilities of a Probation Officer I and develops goals and objectives to ensure the successful completion of the training program;

Under the direct supervision of a probation professional, gathers, verifies, reviews and analyzes social, medical, mental health, substance abuse, sex offender, legal and other documentation and by interviewing defendants/respondents, victims, law enforcement personnel and other case related individuals to conduct pre-plea/pre-sentence/pre-disposition investigations;

Under the direct supervision of a probation professional, prepares reports regarding persons awaiting disposition of the courts;

Under the direct supervision of a probation professional, conducts risk and need assessments and evaluates results for pre-trial, investigation, and supervision purposes;

Under the direct supervision of a probation professional, promotes risk reduction by providing direction and support to help the probationer change factors that promote and maintain criminal/delinquent behavior; coaches probationers to select new patterns of thinking, feeling and behaving and develop new attitudes and skills which help sustain a constructive and law-abiding relationship with the broader community and reduce the likelihood of becoming re-involved in criminal or delinquent behavior.

Under the direct supervision of a probation professional, prepares progress reports on probationers and periodically reviews case histories to determine the degree of adjustment;

Under the direct supervision of a probation professional, prepares a final case report once a case is closed;

Under the direct supervision of a probation professions, prepares violation reports;

Under the direct supervision of a probation professional, prepares case/supervision plans and explains conditions of sentence/disposition to probationers;

Under the direct supervision of a probation professional, monitors probationer’s compliance with conditions of probation;

Under the direct supervision of a probation professional, performs drug/alcohol screenings, and collects DNA samples from probationers;

May develop and maintain professional relationships with other social and law enforcement agencies and cooperates with them in matters of mutual interest such as assisting probationers with life adjustments;

May arrange for medical, mental health, substance abuse treatment or other services according to individual probationer’s needs or court orders;

May testify in court or at violation hearings;

May use a firearm in performing duties and exercising authority pursuant to departmental policy.


Working knowledge of interviewing and investigative techniques and practices related to probation work;

Working knowledge of laws pertaining to probation work and the functions and procedures of family and criminal courts:

Working knowledge of methods of differential supervision of probationers including the application of cognitive behavioral interventions and motivational techniques;

Working knowledge of effective assessment, case planning and management;

Working knowledge of special offender populations such as domestic violence offenders, sex offender, DWI offenders, youthful offenders, juvenile offenders, Persons in Need of Supervision and juvenile delinquents;

Working knowledge of juvenile and adult risk and needs assessment instruments;

Working knowledge of the provisions of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulations and policies relating to confidentiality of case record information;

Working knowledge of tools used to monitor compliance with condition of probation, such as drug and alcohol screenings, DNA collection and electronic monitoring devices;

Working knowledge of the powers of a Peace Officer;

Working knowledge of the geography of the jurisdiction employed in;

Working knowledge of factors related to crime and delinquency;

Working knowledge of the rules of evidence, arrest laws and custody procedures;

Working knowledge of social sciences, including sociology, psychology and demography;

Working knowledge of community resources;

Working knowledge of employment, training and treatment options available to probationers;

Working knowledge of firearm safely;

Skill in the use of firearms where authorized;

Ability to administer accurate and thorough assessments;

Ability to understand and follow oral and written instructions;

Ability to analyze and organize data and prepare records and reports;

Ability to conduct effective case planning;

Ability to refer a probationer to the right types of services within the probation department and the broader community;

Ability to promote and monitor change and take appropriate action to sustain growth or help the probationer initiate appropriate behavioral patterns;

Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with others;

Ability to counsel probationers regarding social, emotional and vocational problems;

Ability to understand and interpret complex written technical information including statutes, regulations and operational procedures;

Ability to communicate effectively both orally and in writing;

Ability to administer drug, alcohol testing and collect DNA samples as needed;

Ability to understand and empathize with the needs and concerns of others;

Ability to maintain composure and make rational judgements under stressful conditions;

Ability to safely and effectively use a firearm if so authorized.


Graduation from a regionally accredited college or university or one accredited by the New York State board of Regents to grant degrees, with a Bachelor’s degree or higher with at least thirty (30) credit hours in the social or behavioral sciences.

SPECIAL REQUIREMENTWhere required, possession of a current driver’s license or the ability to otherwise meet the transportation requirements of the position.

Note: Social science includes areas of study concerned with humans living in relation to other humans in a social environment and such as anthropology, criminal justice, economics, geography, history, political science, psychology and sociology.

Behavioral science is a subset of social science characterized by observation of the behavior of living organisms and focused on human social behavior such as psychology, sociology, anthropology, counseling, criminal justice, gerontology, human behavior, social work/social welfare and vocational rehabilitation.

Note: Individuals whose duties and responsibilities include the use of a firearm must also complete training pursuant to Criminal Procedure Law Section 2.30(3).

Note: The class specifications including the minimum qualifications for positions in Probation Departments are established by rule and regulations of the Division of Criminal Justice Services. These class specifications are found in Title 9 NYCRR Part 347, Appendix H-10, Standard Specifications for Professional Probation Positions.

Note: This position is allocated to the competitive class pursuant to Executive Law Section 257(1).

Competitive Class