Focus on Ethics Video: The Role of the Probation Officer

The role of the probation officer is complex, and it can be a challenging career at the federal, state, or local level. Each type of probation office may have different policies and responsibilities, but they share some common features. This video discusses the careers available with the federal judiciary for probation officers and pretrial service workers. Although federal probation officers consider themselves at the peak of the probation services occupation, their experiences are applicable to state and local probation officers.

Video source: United States Courts on YouTube

1. What did you learn from this video about the role of a probation officer? Has your perspective on the occupation changed, and if so, how?

2. What duties do pretrial services officers perform for probationers?

3. What types of issues do federal probationers present for probation officers?

4. Why is having a good ethical character an important asset to those who become federal probation officers?