United States Probation Officer

  • U.S. District Courts
  • Providence, RI, USA
  • Feb 12, 2018
Full time Social Services Government Other

Job Description

The U.S. Probation Officer performs duties and responsibilities which include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Interviews defendants upon arrest by a federal law enforcement agency; prepares written and verbal bail reports; formulates recommendations for detention or release with conditions; presents information to judges and attorneys; represents the agency at court hearings.
  • Conducts presentence investigations and prepares reports for the Court with recommendations for sentencing of individuals convicted of federal offenses. The preparation of these reports requires interviewing offenders and their families, investigating the offense, prior record and financial status of the offender, and contacting law enforcement agencies, attorneys, victims of the crimes, schools, etc. The purpose of these activities is to ascertain the offender’s background, to assess the probability of future criminal behavior, to determine profit from the offense and any restitution, and to determine the offender’s ability to pay fines and costs of prosecution, incarceration, and supervision. An integral part of this process is the interpretation and application of the U.S. Sentencing Commission guidelines and relevant case law.
  • Presents presentence reports and sentencing recommendations to the Court; responds to judicial officers’ requests for information and advice; testifies in Court as to the basis for factual findings and guideline applications; serves as a resource to the Court to facilitate proper imposition of sentence.
  • Supervises defendants and offenders conditionally released to the community on bail, probation, supervised release, parole, mandatory release, and military parole to maximize adherence to imposed conditions, reduce risk to the community, and to provide correctional treatment.
  • Maintains personal contact with defendants and offenders through office and community contacts and by telephone; investigates employment, sources of income, lifestyle and associates to assess risk and compliance; responsible for detection of substance abuse and implements the necessary treatment or violation proceedings; refers offenders to appropriate outside agencies such as medical and drug treatment facilities, employment and training.
  • Initiates contacts with, replies to and seeks information from organizations and persons such as the U.S. Parole Commission, Bureau of Prisons, and attorneys concerning offenders’ behavior and conditions of supervision; detects and investigates violations and implements appropriate alternatives and sanctions; reports violations of the conditions of supervision to the appropriate authorities; prepares reports, which may include application of U.S. Sentencing Commission revocation guidelines; makes recommendations for disposition; testifies at Court hearings.

Performs such other duties as the Chief may require.


Police-Law Enforcement, General-Other: Security-Protective Services, Other, Social Service


43867 - 105400


Minimum Qualifications:

To qualify for the position of Probation Officer, candidates must possess a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university in a field of academic study, such as criminal justice, criminology, psychology, sociology, human relations, or business or public administration, which provides evidence of the capacity to understand and apply the legal requirements and human relations skills involved in the position.

Preferred Qualifications:

Two years of progressively responsible specialized experience gained after completion of a bachelor's degree, in such fields as probation, pretrial services, corrections, criminal investigations, work in substance/ addiction treatment, counseling and providing guidance to offenders either in community corrections or a related field such as social work, casework, or education guidance counseling is preferred, as is an advanced degree.

Proficiency working in automated environments with a significant knowledge of computer programs such as WordPerfect, Word and Windows is preferred.

Knowledge of evidence based practices, risk and needs principles, cognitive behavioral therapy programming preferred.

Fluency in Spanish is highly desirable.

Successful candidates must demonstrate effective written and verbal communication skills, be of outstanding character, mature, responsible, poised, organized and meticulous. Must also possess tact, good judgment, initiative, and the ability to work with a wide variety of people with diverse backgrounds. Successful candidates will have the desire and ability to work harmoniously with others in a total quality team-based organization, and the desire/willingness to collaborate with offenders, community partners and others to reduce recidivism.

Applicants must be a United States Citizen or eligible to work in the United States.

Because Probation Officers are covered under Law Enforcement Retirement provisions as defined in Title 5, United States Code, Chapters 83 and 84, applicants must be under the age of 37 when hired and must meet stringent physical requirements.

Successful applicants must undergo a full field background investigation by the Office of Personnel Management.

Prior to appointment, the selectee considered for this position will undergo an extensive medical examination and drug screening. Upon successful completion of the medical examination and drug screening, the selectee may then be appointed provisionally, pending a favorable suitability determination by the Court. The medical requirements and the essential job functions derived from the medical guidelines for the probation officers are available for public review at http://www.uscourts.gov.

New officers will attend a six week training academy at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) in Charleston, South Carolina within the first year of employment.

Incumbents will be subject to ongoing random drug screening, updated background investigations every five years and, as deemed necessary by management for reasonable cause, may be subject to subsequent fitness-for- duty evaluations.

U.S. Probation Officers participate as hazardous duty law enforcement officers under the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS). U.S. Probation employees are Judicial branch employees and work for the U.S. Courts. Employees of the U.S. Probation Office are “At Will Employees” and are required to adhere to a Code of Conduct for Judicial Employees. Employees are entitled to the accrual of 13 to 26 days of annual leave based on years of service, as well as 13 days of sick leave per year. There is optional enrollment in federal health insurance, group life insurance, long term care options, long-term disability insurance, flexible spending program (pre-tax flexible spending for health care and dependent care) and a tax deferred Thrift Savings Plan (similar to a 401K plan). There are 10 paid federal holidays per year. Creditable time in service in other federal agencies, or the military will be added to judiciary employment when computing employee benefits. This position is subject to mandatory electronic funds transfer (direct deposit) participation of salary payments.

How to Apply:


Qualified applicants should submit an original:


  • Letter of interest, which addresses qualifications, skills, education and experience necessary to perform the duties of a U.S. Probation Officer;
  • Detailed resume;
  • Completed Application for Judicial Employment, form AO-78 (available at http://www.uscourts.gov/forms/AO078.pdf); and
  • Copies of your last two (2) performance evaluations (if applicable).



*Please include #18-01 in the subject line.

Or mail to:

United States Probation Office

Attn: Human Resources, 18-01

John O. Pastore Federal Building

2 Exchange Terrace

Providence, RI 02903-1779


Please note: Incomplete application packets may not be considered.


Selected applicants will be contacted for an interview. In addition to one or two professional interviews, final applicants may be required to demonstrate analytical and writing skills through written exercises. The Court is not authorized to reimburse travel expenses in connection with an interview, nor pay for any relocation expenses. The U.S. Probation Office reserves the right to amend or withdraw any announcement without written notice to applicants. More than one position may be filled via this announcement. If subsequent vacancies of the same position become available within a reasonable time of the original announcement, the Chief U.S. Probation Officer may elect to select additional candidates from the original qualified applicant pool.


The United States Probation Office reserves the right to modify the conditions of this job announcement, to withdraw the job announcement, or to fill the position sooner than the closing date, any of which actions may occur without prior written notice or other notice.