I followed employees of the Madison County Juvenile Probation Department for a day. I spent most of the day with the Victims Information Coordinator (VIC), although I did get to speak with many probation officers as well as the drug counselor in the department. I learned many things while I was visiting the department. For the better part of the day, I spent time with Pat, the Victims Information Coordinator. She is the person that explains the court process to the victims of juvenile delinquent crimes, as well as does all the side work. This work includes filing as well as taking many phone calls from concerned parents, confused kids, and people that just have general questions.
This job also includes putting information into the computer for the probation officers. I got to speak with most of the officers that were there that day. They spend a lot of their own free time to help these kids better themselves. They drive all over the county to visit the kids and their families in their homes, as well as being available at all times of the day to meet with them in an office setting. These probation officers are very dedicated to what they do. Their job is very demanding, not only do they have their normal everyday appointments, but they get several phone calls an hour and people that stop in the office needing to see them immediately.
I have learned several things in class that apply to this probation department. The people that work here have qualities that make them especially qualified for these positions. They are strong willed, dedicated, they know their own strengths and weaknesses and that makes the more able to help others in need. Many of theses people are very unwilling to receive the services this facility offers.
Despite the reluctance, the officers do their best to help the kids. One major thing that the officers have to deal with is cultural differences. Although Madison County is culturally diverse, most of the probation officers are Caucasian. This proves to be a difficult thing to manage when it comes to dealing with kids of other cultures. From what I saw when I spent the day with them, the officers didn't have any problems with cultural differences, but they did say they had some problems in the past. In conclusion, I learned many things when I spent the day at the Madison County Juvenile Probation Facility.
They deal with many things throughout the day. They have several appointments, take many phone calls from concerned people, as well as have to make time to finish all the paper work that needs to be done for each kid. The Victims Information Coordinator is a very vital aspect in the probation process. She makes sure that the victims in the juvenile crimes know how and when to get back what has been taken from them. She assures them that they will help them with whatever it is that they need. I enjoyed spending my day with the people in this office..