The Essence of Work Juvenile Intake Officer


An intake officer is a police officer, who handles an offender and decides whether send them to court or undertake an informal action as defined by law. make decisions to send a youth to a correction program to allow young offenders to rehabilitate.

Credentials, Training, and Qualifications of an Intake Officer

According to the US Department of Labor, an intake officer should have a bachelors degree in criminal justice, social work, behavioral sciences or other field related to these. are required to pass special exams and a drug test. They should then complete a training program and work as trainees for around a year. Juvenile intake officers also have a special type of training that prepares them to work with young offenders. Trainees may work with offenders under the supervision of an experienced officer. Prospective intake officers need to have the following qualifications: be in a good physical condition, have good writing skills, have sufficient legal knowledge, possess some computer skills, have a clean criminal record, be no younger than 21, and (in some states) have a drivers license (Siegel & Worrall, 2016, p. 242). Such education, qualities, and training prepare intake officers for the crucial decisions they have to take during their working time.

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Powers of an Intake Officer Vs. Those of a Juvenile Judge

An intake officer has the following powers: evaluate an offender to find out the best way of rehabilitation, make a decision on the way of rehabilitation, provide offenders with social resources for rehabilitation, test them for drugs, arrange meetings with them or their families, and observe the course of rehabilitation. At first glance, it seems that the powers of a juvenile intake officer overlap with the powers of a juvenile judge. A juvenile judge, similarly, has power to define the types of social service that should be used for the sake of the rehabilitation of youth (Edwards, 1992, p. 25). However, significant differences exist between the powers of an intake officer and those of a juvenile judge. While the latter makes legal decisions in court, such as whether a child should be taken from family, whether the rehabilitation process is necessary, and, if yes, how this process should be conducted, the former supervises the rehabilitation process. In other words, a judge only makes a court decision, while an intake officer stays with a youth and makes sure that rehabilitation is successful.

Intake Vs. Plea Bargaining

The term intake refers to the process of evaluation of an offender to decide whether this person should be sent to court, released or recommended a referral. During an intake, an offender is also screened for the presence of health problems, educational problems, and other issues that may have influenced this person and made them commit an offense. In general, intake requires a collaboration of an officer and an offender. In the same way, that an offender collaborates with a prosecutor. However, the two processes are different. Plea bargaining is a mutually satisfactory agreement between a prosecutor and a defendant that can preclude a trial (Siegel & Welsh, 2014, p. 42) whereas intake leads to an individual decision of an officer, who determines whether a trial is necessary. During these processes, collaboration with both young and adult offenders is needed. The difference is that, in the case of minor offenders, it is also necessary to collaborate with their parents.


In conclusion, intake officers must receive special training and have necessary qualifications to be prepared to . The difference between the powers of an intake officer and a juvenile judge is that a judge decides in court while an intake officer supervises the process of rehabilitation. Both intake and plea bargaining requires collaboration with an offender, but the latter is agreement, and the former is an individual decision.

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