Juvenile Detention Officer 

(Female, Age 29) from Bloomington, IL

This is a REAL-LIFE job profile written by a Female aged 29 who works as a Juvenile Detention Officer in Bloomington, IL. We have removed all names and personal information in order to protect privacy. This professional kindly spent a bit of their time to complete one of our job profile surveys so that prospective job seekers like you could read their insights. Please excuse any punctuation or grammatical errors in this profile.

At a Glance

Current Job

Basic data on your current job

Job Title Juvenile Detention Officer
Salary $37,500
Other Compensation None Set
Hours/Week 40
Company Size (not answered)
Location Bloomington, IL
Years Experience 6 years

Career Ratings

Opinions on your CAREER overall (i.e. not just your current job)

Years in Career 0
Education (not answered)
Income Rating 0 / 10
Interest Rating 0 / 10
Work-Life Rating 0 / 10
Fulfilment Rating 0 / 10

Current job Q&A

Describe the type of organization you work for.
I work for a Juvenile Detention Facility. It is a jail for juveniles. It employes under 40 people and has three shifts. We only detain juveniles until they go to court and are sentenced by a judge.

Describe your job role and responsibilities.
Provide safety and security checks of the facility, update daily paperwork, update court logs, clean parts of the facility, and check on the juveniles on scheduled intervals.

Please list an additional benefits (beyond compensation) that you receive.
Medical including precription benefits, optional life insurance, dental, vision.

Do you feel you are under/over or well/fairly compensated at your current position?
Well compensated.

Does your job entail you working with others on a daily basis? Is this something you like/dislike about your job? Please explain.
My facility is a smaller facility and I work third shift so I only work with two other people on my shift. I like that I am given more responsibility on my shift because I have a sense of accomplishment and have more room for professional growth.

Do you work collaboratively with supervisors/managers?

Do you work collaboratively with your co-workers?

Describe your work location (e.g., office, home, theatre, in the field) and what you like/dislike about working in it.
My work location is locked down 24-7 so I am locked into work for an eight hour shift. This can be difficult because unlike regular jobs, I am not allowed to leave for lunch, breaks, etc… I do not have visitors come by, I can not run home to get lunch, take a walk, etc… There are no scheduled breaks on certain shifts and usually you are eating while you are supervising the children. Sometimes you have to wait to go to the bathroom. My facility is a jail and all that a jail entails.

Please rate each of the following aspects of your current job on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the highest/best):
Income: 1
Benefits: 3
Hours: 2
Co-Workers: 7
Supervisors: 4
Job Title: 8
Level of Responsibility: 5
The Actual Work: 6

A day in the life of…

Please describe a typical workday for you in your current job:

5am to 6am
6am to 7am
7am to 8am 11pm- Get to work for the beginning of my shift. Get briefed by the previous shift on what happened on first and second shift. Man the “Control Room” where all of the locks and phones are. Begin paperwork.
8am to 9am 12am Exit the control room to begin checks on juveniles. Check on juveniles every 15 minutes. Begin folding laundry.
9am to 10am 1am Enter the control room. Continue paperwork. Read a book when finished with paperwork. 1:50a Have break and eat lunch in facility.
10am to 11am 2am Exit control room. Check on juveniles every 15 minutes. Continue folding laundry. Begin setting up laundry for juveniles (towel, washcloth, socks, underware, shorts, shirt, pants, sweatshirt).
11am to 12pm 3am Enter control room. Finish any paperwork that is left. Work on any projects that the supervisor has for me.
12pm to 1pm 4am Exit control room. Check on juveniles every 15 minutes. Finish setting up clothing for juveniles. Clean windows, Clean visiting area, Clean other assorted areas.
1pm to 2pm 5am Enter control room. Read a book.
2pm to 3pm 6am Exit control room. Check on juveniles every 15 minutes. Watch the news on tv.
3pm to 4pm 7am Brief oncoming shift about nights events and who is scheduled to go to court that day. Go home!
4pm to 5pm
5pm to 6pm
6pm to 7pm
7pm to 8pm
8pm to 9pm
9pm to 10pm
10pm to 11pm
11pm to 12am

Table of Contents

How you got your job

How did you get your current job?

What was the application process?

Did you have to interview for your current job? If yes, what did the interview process entail?
I had one interview which was a group interview.

If you can remember, what questions were you asked during the interview?
They asked me what experience I had, my education, they gave me different scenerios and asked me what I would do, they asked me why I was interested in this particular position.

Do you feel your employer properly prepared you for your job? Explain.
Yes. I knew how each shift worked, and specifically how the shift I was going to work ran. Each policy and proceedure was explained to me in detail. I was given a lot of hands-on practice with every aspect of my job before I was allowed to work by myself.

Was there training for your current position? If yes, what did it entail?
I had to do 120 hours of training with a training officer and on the three different shifts at the facility. It was learning about the facility, the policies and proceedures and the way the different shifts worked.

Do you feel your educational background prepared you for your job? Explain.
Yes. I feel that it helped me understand how the legal processes worked but I never had classes on how juvenile detention facilities ran so I was not educated about that. I did have several classes in psychology so I was able to understand some of the illnesses some of the children here have and why they have them.

If applicable, do you feel your internship experience helped you prepare for your job?
Yes. I did my internship in juvenile probation so I already worked with troubled youth. I had been to the facility I work in before and knew some of the people that worked here. I had already made some contacts which helped me feel more comfortable in my interview.

If someone wanted to go about getting a job similar to yours, what would you recommend for him or her to do?
I would recommend that they tour some facilities similar to the one that they are hoping to work in. Also, having worked in a residental treatment facility, working with children, or in any type of job which relates to children will definatly help you when applying for this type of job.

What skills do you think a person should have if they want to pursue a position like yours?
They must like children! They must be tolerant, flexible in terms of hours- they will be working shift work, which means working weekends, holidays, birthdays, etc… They must be able to control their temper because the type of children I work with like to test your boundries and see how far they can take you.

Do you feel that you need a certain level of education or training to be successful in your job?
I believe a Bachelors Degree is helpful in being successful.

What advice would you give to someone who was about to start work in your position/ line of work?
Be ready to realize that you don’t know everything! You have a lot to learn, despite your age and experience. The children you will encounter are unlike any children you have ever met. Some will be “normal” and some will literally be “mentally unstable”. You will meet kids you love and kids you hate and you will have to learn to work with each one of them.

Long-term career plans

Is your current employment part of your overall career plan? Why or why not?
It is a stepping stone to my next position, whatever that may be. I am not sure where I will end up but I know that this job provided invaluable experience I could not have gotten anywhere else.

What are your current career goals?
To obtain a position that I can support my family and work day hours and have my weekends off.

Is there anything else you would like to share about your career?

Prior work history

Please list your most recent jobs prior to this current job:

Title Length Salary Description
Prior Job 1 Juvenile Detention Officer 6 yrs. 37500 Responsibilities include the supervision of detainees, security and safety checks for the facility, updating court files, updating daily paperwork, performing urine screens and the documentation of conduct of detainees.
Prior Job 2 Residential Counselor 1 yr. 19500 Responsibilities included daily supervision of juveniles in the residential unit, documentation of daily events for individual clients, observing urine and breathalyzer screens, and facilitating daily groups.

Educational background

Please list your educational background:

High School GPA:4.75

GPA School Degree
College (Undergraduate)
or Technical/Vocational
2.8 Western Illinois University Law Enforcement and Justice Administration
Graduate or Professional
(Masters or Doctorate)

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