How to Become a Juvenile Court Register
The juvenile court can be a busy place, but it's an incredibly important part of the court system. Properly processing juveniles, sending them to the place that can most benefit them, and ensuring that they are treated fairly can keep them from becoming adult prisoners and help them get on the right path. As a juvenile court register, you can ensure that the juvenile court system is being run properly and that it's meeting the needs of the populace. If this kind of career sounds good to you, contact schools with campus or online criminal justice programs today to request information.
Juvenile court registers fill a wide variety of roles in the court system. They may play an important role in the filling out and filing of paperwork, the supervision of staff, and the coordination of efforts between branches of staff. You may work quite a bit with the public as well as with juvenile delinquents. Of course, as a result, you can also expect to spend quite a bit of time working with the families of those going through the juvenile court system.
If you're interested in changing the lives of adolescents through your work, becoming a juvenile court register may be the perfect career in criminal justice for you. Discover what it means to be a juvenile court register and how you can get started on this path.
What it Takes to Become a Juvenile Court Register
In many cases, becoming a juvenile court register is a fairly involved process that can take several years. However, by planning ahead of time and getting the experience you need to qualify for this job, you can be ready when your dream job becomes available. It's likely that you'll want to start with a Bachelor's degree in criminal justice. This is a four-year degree that encompasses different areas of the justice field, including corrections, courtroom procedures, and policing. Some schools offer programs that focus on juvenile justice, so you may want to choose a school with this concentration. It can allow you to take extra courses in juvenile justice that may help you prepare for a career as a juvenile court register.
Some of the core criminal justice electives you may take as a juvenile justice student include Drugs and Society, Police Methods and Organization, Methods of Criminal Justice Research, and Criminal Procedure. You may take courses that focus on the juvenile system like Introduction to Juvenile Justice, Juvenile Corrections, Family Law, and Ethics in Juvenile Justice. Depending on which school you end up attending, you may also be able to complete an internship in a juvenile justice agency or organization. This invaluable experience can help you start making connections in your local community.
Before you can accept a position as a juvenile court register, you may need to get some experience in the juvenile justice department of your local criminal justice agency. This may include working as a juvenile clerk or a juvenile corrections officer. With several years of related work experience under your belt, you may be able to take on the responsibility that comes with being a juvenile court register. Advanced leadership experience in another criminal justice department may also suffice for this requirement.
Below, CriminalJusticePrograms.com speaks with Franklin Cruz, part of the Coalition for Juvenile Justice. Cruz discusses the difference between the juvenile justice system and the criminal justice field.
Career Outlook and Salary Potential
As you look at the job outlook for juvenile court registers and others who work with juvenile delinquents, you may find that job openings are not expected to increase significantly in coming years. Through 2026, O*Net expects an average increase in corrections-type job openings throughout the country compared to other jobs. However, you may benefit from a great job outlook in certain parts of the country. In Texas, for example, a 17% increase in jobs is expected through 2024. O*Net anticipates an 8% increase in jobs in California during the same period.
As you gain experience and seniority in this position, your salary potential may increase accordingly. Across the country, the average salary for a corrections officer, a position close to a juvenile court register, is $51,410 per year. The average salary for this position in Illinois was $63,320 annually in 2017. Similarly, in New York, juvenile court registers earned an average of $67,820 per year in 2017 (O*Net, 2017).
Working as a Juvenile Court Register
If you're dedicated to becoming a juvenile court register, you should be ready to work extremely hard and put in long hours. Sometimes, you may have just a few cases going on in your department, while during other weeks you may have many different cases going on. This often requires you to work a variety of hours, since you may need to stay in the courthouse while trials are going on so that you can file the proper paperwork for each case.
Much of your job may involve ensuring compliance. Many statutes govern the handling of juveniles and youths, and if those statutes are not followed, the justice department could be in legal trouble. At the end of each day, you may check over your staff's work to make sure it is compliant. You may also prepare your department for cases as part of your job. This tends to involve looking at evidence, marking exhibits, and maintaining files on the delinquents assigned to you. For repeat offenders, you may maintain guardianship records and ensure that they are being properly cared for once they are out of the juvenile court system. Management is often required in this position. Whether you're supervising office staff or legal clerks, you may be responsible for everything that happens in your office.
Becoming a juvenile court register may be the right decision for you if you want to help some of America's most disadvantaged youth. Ready to get started? Look at our criminal justice school listings for more information!
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