US Probation and Pretrial Services Officer #24-WAW-15

U.S. District Court, Probation and Pretrial Services Western District of Washington   Seattle, WA   Full-time     Legal
Posted on February 1, 2024

United States District Court
Western District of Washington
U.S. Probation and Pretrial Services Officer

Announcement Number: 24-WAW-15

Announcement date: January 25, 2024

Closing Date: Open until filled; preference given to applications received by February 19, 2024

The U.S. Probation and Pretrial Services Office for the Western District of Washington is currently accepting applications for a U.S. Probation and Pretrial Services Officer.  Our District has three distinct units under U.S. Probation and Pretrial Services:  a pretrial services unit including supervision, a presentence unit, and a post-conviction supervision unit.  There are five offices within the district: Seattle, Tacoma, Tukwila, Everett, and Vancouver.  This position will be based in the Vancouver, Washington office.  Frequent travel within the district is required as is some out of district travel. 

Representative Duties

Probation and Pretrial Services Officers serve in a judiciary law enforcement capacity and assist in the fair administration of justice, provide community safety, conduct objective investigations, community supervision, and interact with outside agencies and community members.

  • Conduct investigations and prepare well written, grammatically correct, objective reports for the Court’s consideration regarding pretrial, presentence, and post-conviction supervision issues. 
  • Interpret and apply policies, procedures, statutes, Federal Rules of Criminal Procedures, and U. S. Sentencing Guidelines.  
  • Maintain personal contact with persons under supervision through office, virtual and community contacts. 
  • Refer persons under supervision to appropriate outside agencies such as medical and drug treatment facilities, employment, and training.
  • Assure the protection of the constitutional rights of persons under supervision through the statutory mandate to assess risk of nonappearance and danger to the community.
  • Assess risk level of persons under supervision and develop a blend of strategies for controlling and correcting risk.
  • Enforce pretrial and post-conviction supervision conditions through evidence-based practices of effective supervision.
  • Detect and investigate violations and implement appropriate alternatives and sanctions.  Report violations of the conditions of supervision to the appropriate authorities.  
  • Respond to judicial officer's requests for information and advice.  Testify in court as to the basis for factual findings and guideline applications.  Serve as resource to the court to facilitate proper imposition of release or sentence.
  • Officers are required to work a minimum number of non-standard hours per month and are expected to be available if needed on a 24/7 basis, when not on leave status. 
  • Develop professional relationships with the U.S. Parole Commission, Bureau of Prisons, U.S. Attorney’s Office, and various law enforcement, correctional and social services agencies.
  • Embrace a diverse and inclusive workplace and be committed to promoting fair, impartial, and just treatment of persons under supervision throughout all phases of the justice system.
  • Knowledge of, and compliance with, the Code of Conduct for Judicial Employees and court confidentiality requirements.  Ability to demonstrate sound ethics and mature, professional judgment as an objective, neutral officer of the court

Qualifications

  • Ability to organize and prioritize work schedule and work independently with minimal supervision.  Ability to work under pressure and with short deadlines while maintaining a positive and professional demeanor.
  • Ability to exercise discretion and sound judgment, maintain confidentiality, foster high ethical standards, and demonstrate integrity in meeting the district’s vision, mission, and goals.
  • Ability to interpret data to aid in performing core duties.
  • Ability to exercise impartiality and discretion with the persons under supervision population and their family/support system.
  • Ability to routinely work non-traditional hours to include covering after-hours matters on a rotational basis.
  • Ability to interact and communicate effectively, both orally and in writing, with people of diverse backgrounds.  This includes persons under supervision, law enforcement and collateral agency personnel at different government levels, and community service providers.
  • Knowledge of automated / internet resources and systems available for conducting background checks, criminal histories, and other similar information.
  • Knowledge of and proficiency with current technology, computer databases, and computer applications in a Windows based environment.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Knowledge of the roles and functions of federal probation and pretrial services and the legal requirements used in probation and pretrial services.  Knowledge of how other judicial process and procedures relate to the officer’s roles and responsibilities.
  • Ability to communicate fluently in a second language.
  • An advanced degree in a related field of study.

Education

Required Education: Completion of 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.
Specialized Experience: Minimum of two years progressively responsible experience, gained after completion of a bachelor's degree, in such fields as probation, pretrial services, parole, corrections, criminal investigations, or work in substance/addiction treatment is required. Experience as a police, custodial, or security officer, other than any criminal investigative experience, is not creditable.
Educational Substitutions: Completion of one academic year (30 semester or 45 quarter hours), of graduate work in a field of study closely related to the position equates to one year of specialized experience.  Completion of a master's degree in a field of study closely related to the position, or a Juris Doctor (JD) degree, equates to two years of specialized experience.  An advanced degree is preferred.

Medical Requirements

The duties of probation and pretrial services officers require the investigation and management of clients charged with criminal offenses or convicted clients, both who present physical danger to officers and to the public.  In the supervision, treatment, and control of charged and/or convicted clients, these duties require moderate to arduous physical activity, including prolonged periods of walking and standing, physical dexterity and coordination necessary to operate a firearm, and use of self-defense tactics. Officers face unusual mental and physical stress because they are subject to danger and possible harm during frequent, direct contact with individuals who are charged with criminal offenses or convicted of committing federal offenses.

Prior to appointment, the selectee considered for this position is required to undergo a preliminary medical examination at their own expense with their medical doctor. The selectee will be appointed provisionally upon successful completion of the medical examination. Simultaneously, the selectee will undergo a full medical examination and drug test with Federal Occupational Health at government expense. Continued employment is dependent upon a favorable suitability determination by the Court and Federal Occupational Health.  Unfavorable results may result in termination.  In addition, as conditions of employment, officers are subject to ongoing random drug screening, updated background investigations every five years and may be subject to subsequent fitness-for-duty evaluations as deemed necessary by management for reasonable cause

Maximum Entry Age

First-time appointees to positions covered under law enforcement officer retirement provisions must not have reached their 37th birthday at the time of appointment.  Applicants 37 or over who have previous law enforcement officer experience under the Civil Service Retirement System or the Federal Employees' Retirement System and who have either a subsequent break in service or intervening service in a non-law enforcement officer position may have their previous law enforcement officer experience subtracted from their age to determine whether they meet the maximum age requirement.

Salary Range

Court Personnel System Classification Level:
CL26, Step 1 – 61, $59,196 - $94,707
CL27, Step 1 – 61, $62,422 - $101,477
CL28, Step 1 – 61, $74,814 - $121,635
Depending on experience and qualifications.  Additional promotional potential without further recruitment.

Benefits

The District Court offers a generous benefit package, competitive salary, and a dedication to work/life balance including flexible schedules, ORCA transit passes, and telework opportunities. Judiciary employees participate in the Federal Employees Retirement System, Thrift Savings Plan (similar to a 401K), health and life insurance benefits, long term care options, annual sick leave accrual, and eleven paid holidays per year. Judiciary employees are not covered by the Office of Personnel Management’s civil service classification system or regulations. 

Information for Applicants

To be considered, qualified applicants must submit the following:

  • Cover letter
  • Resume
  • A response to the application question, below
  • A completed AO78, Application for Federal Employment. This position is exempt from the Fair Chance to Compete for Jobs Act so all questions on the application form need to be completed.

Attachments must be submitted as Microsoft Word (DOC) or Adobe Acrobat (PDF) files. Other formats are not acceptable. Applications will only be considered complete when the required attachments, with the required information in the appropriate format, are received by Human Resources. Incomplete applications and/or attachments received after the closing date may not be considered in the recruitment process.

Application Question

Provide a writing sample, not more than 500 words, answering the following: 

In the Charter for Excellence we have seven mission critical values. The values include treating everyone with dignity and respect; working together to foster a collegial environment; and promoting fairness in process and excellence in service to the courts and the community. Select one of these three values to describe how you have demonstrated the value and how it has defined you and/or shaped your experiences. Also, explain how you would demonstrate this value in the position of a U.S. Probation Officer.

Responses will be evaluated on the following: organization and flow of thought, thoroughness and thoughtfulness of content, level of detail, and writing skills (including grammar, punctuation, and sentence structure).  

Only qualified applicants will be considered for this position.  Applicants must be United States citizens or eligible to work in the United States.  Applicants selected for interviews must travel (for in-person interviews) or connect via Zoom (for remote interviews) at their own expense.  Qualified applicants selected for interviews will be tested.

The United States District Court requires employees to follow a code of conduct which is available upon request. Reference checks with current and former employers will be conducted on top candidates.  A background investigation with law enforcement agencies, including fingerprint and criminal record checks, will be conducted as a condition of employment.  Any applicant selected for a position will be hired provisionally pending successful completion of the investigation.  Unsatisfactory results may result in termination of employment. 

U.S. Probation and Pretrial Services for the Western District of Washington is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We encourage applications from all qualified individuals and seek a diverse pool of applicants in terms of race, ethnicity, national origin, sex, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, age, languages spoken, veteran’s status, disability, religion, and socio-economic circumstance.

The Federal Financial Management Reform Act requires direct deposit of federal wages. 

The Court provides reasonable accommodations to applicants with disabilities. If you need a reasonable accommodation, please notify human resources. The decision on granting reasonable accommodations will be made on an individual basis.

The Court reserves the right to modify the conditions of this job announcement, to withdraw the announcement, or to fill the position sooner than the closing date, any of which may occur without prior written or other notice.  If a position becomes vacant in a similar classification, within a reasonable time from the original announcement, management may elect to select a candidate from the applicants who responded to the original announcement without posting the position. More than one position may be filled from this announcement.

The United States District Court is an equal opportunity employer and values diversity in the workplace.