Recruitment Days accelerate process, ensuring selection of qualified candidates for Detention
PHOENIX (February 6, 2024) – With 11 interested candidates present, the Juvenile Probation Department, part of the Judicial Branch of Arizona in Maricopa County, kicked off its first Juvenile Detention Officer Recruitment Day the summer of 2023, a new process that allows potential candidates to learn about the department, positions in detention, and the hiring and background investigation process.
“We don’t want to lose great candidates due to lengthy hiring processes; they may accept other job offers that hire them faster,” said Juvenile Detention Officer Supervisor Cameil Kimble.
During JDO Recruitment Days, which are held twice monthly, candidates who have applied for the position are invited to spend the day at the Juvenile Probation Department and are given the opportunity to tour the juvenile detention facility and learn about the expectations and benefits of being a juvenile detention officer. The next recruitment day is scheduled for February 6, 2024. After their application submission, qualified candidates will receive a phone call from Juvenile Probation Department staff to help them select an available recruitment day to attend.
“We have introduced new assessment methods and engaged with applicants throughout the entire process, not just at the end,” said Brittni Swafford, the Department’s Quality Assurance and Compliance Manager.
The new recruitment initiative, which kicked off in June 2023, focuses on timely candidate engagement and utilizes risk-management screening tools designed to identify individuals most suitable for the position. This comprehensive approach accelerates the hiring process and ensures the selection of qualified candidates.
“The results thus far have been very encouraging,” said Juvenile Probation Chief Eric Meaux. “This new process, with a greater focus on engaging interested applicants and assessing their ability to be successful, is very exciting.”
In Maricopa County, the Juvenile Probation Department has one detention facility that operates 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. Youth entering the facility are screened to determine if they should be held in secure detention or returned to their parent or legal guardian’s care. While in detention, youth attend school and can work towards high school credits. The goal is to promote public safety while holding youth accountable for their actions by providing programming to promote positive behavior change and reduce recidivism.
From June to December 2023, 21 new juvenile detention officers have started with the Maricopa County Juvenile Probation Department or have been approved for future hire dates. Over two dozen candidates are currently in some phase of the background process – completing the questionnaires, being reviewed by background investigators, at polygraph or psychological examination.