How to Become a Juvenile Corrections Officer

juvenile criminal justice
juvenile criminal justice

How to Become a Juvenile Corrections Officer

Not all kids are perfect. Sometimes young people get in trouble and wind up in treatment or corrections facilities. Once there, they do best when they are supported by well-trained Corrections Officers who know how to address residents’ unique needs and challenges on their path to recovery, rehabilitation, and reintegration into society. If you care about young people and have an interest in the criminal justice system, you may be a great candidate for a job as a Juvenile Corrections Officer. In this role, you would ensure the safety of those currently in detention or drug treatment centers. You would also serve as a positive role model and mentor. Do you have what it takes? You’ll need the right training, education, experience, and passion. 

What Does a Juvenile Corrections Officer Do? 

A Juvenile Corrections Officer is like the Corrections Officers who work with adults. But because you’ll work with young people, you will be tasked to coach them and help them grow mentally and emotionally. The goal is to help them improve their self-esteem and better understand their behaviors so they are empowered to make different choices for themselves in the future. Here are some of the other duties you might have: 

  • Assist with resident intake and orientation 
  • Keep a close eye on facility residents and make sure they remain safe  
  • Deescalate arguments and break up fights  
  • Escort residents to and from their rooms 
  • Conduct searches for contraband 
  • Inspect facilities for cleanliness and security 
  • Record suspicious or concerning behavior and report it to the proper staff members  
  • Assist during emergencies 

What Are the Requirements to Be a Juvenile Corrections Officer? 

Requirements of the role will likely vary from facility to facility, but at state and local institutions, you’ll usually need to:  

  • Be at least 21 years of age 
  • Be a U.S. citizen 
  • Be a State resident 
  • Pass a psychological evaluation 
  • Pass a background check 
  • Undergo a drug screening 
  • Have a high school diploma or GED 

The hiring process will be stricter than a typical job interview. This is to ensure you can handle the pressures of the job and won’t do anything to harm the reputation of the facility.  

Juvenile Corrections Officer Training 

Once you’ve been hired, you may then need to go through an officer training process. This is usually completed at a local or state police academy. This is what you can expect as part of the training:  

  • Physical Fitness—You may be required to take a physical exam to test your level of fitness. You’ll also need to participate in strength and endurance training to ensure you can carry out the physical demands of the job, such as breaking up fights and restraining residents. 
  • Defense—You’ll learn how to defend yourself and others should a resident get out of hand. 
  • Emergency Response—You’ll need to know how to respond to a variety of emergency situations. 
  • Observation—Part of your job is to watch over the youth in your facility, so you’ll need to be able to recognize the behavioral signs that will tell you if something is amiss.  


If you’re ready for a career as a juvenile corrections officer, contact YTI Technical Institute in Pennsylvania today. We offer training in Criminal Justice and First Response that can help you start on the path to this rewarding career. Fill out the form to request more information.