Probation Officer (Charleston - SC)
U.S. Probation and Pretrial Services Office District of South Carolina
VACANCY ANNOUNCEMENT / TRANSFER OPPORTUNITY
POSITION: United States Probation Officer - multiple positions to be filled *
Full-Time / Permanent
DUTY STATION: Charleston, Columbia, Florence, Greenville
SALARY RANGE: CL 25 ($44,528 - $71,243) – CL 28 (61,988 - $100,739) **
(starting salary based on qualifications/experience)
Promotion potential up to CL 28 without further competition.
OPENING DATE: October 4, 2021
CLOSING DATE: November 1, 2021
*This position is also open to qualified current USPO employees interested in a transfer opportunity to
the District of South Carolina.
** The salary at time of appointment will be set in accordance with the Court Personnel System. Lateral transfers will be considered for Probation Officers currently employed in other districts. A lateral transfer is considered an officer’s current Classification Level (up to CL-28) and Step from their current pay table to Table RUS (Rest of United States). The district is unable to match locality pay.
The United States Probation Office for the District of South Carolina is accepting applications for the position of United States Probation Officer. The U.S. Probation Office for the District of South Carolina includes field offices located in Charleston, Columbia, Florence, Port Royal, and Greenville. The Chief’s Office (Headquarters) is also located in Columbia.
U.S. PROBATION OFFICER POSITION OVERVIEW
The United States Probation Officer, as an investigative, sentencing and supervision professional, is responsible for providing meaningful assistance to the federal court in its deliberations and decisions concerning criminal offenders, and ensuring public safety through the monitoring and supervision of offenders placed under supervision by the U.S. Courts, U.S. Parole Commission or military authorities.
• A Probation Officer conducts investigations and prepares reports for the court with recommendations for sentencing of individuals convicted of federal offenses. The preparation of these reports requires interviewing offenders and their families, investigating the offense, prior record, and financial status of the offender, and contacting law enforcement agencies, attorneys, victims of the crimes, schools, churches and civic organizations. The purpose of these activities is to ascertain the offender’s background, to assess the 2021-DSC-12 U.S. Probation Officer (All Divisions) 2 probability of future criminal behavior and determine profit from the offense, restitution, and the offenders’ ability to pay fines and costs of prosecution, incarceration, and costs of supervision. An integral part of this process is the interpretation and application of the United States Sentencing Commission Guidelines and case law. This report is presented to the court. The officer testifies in court as to the basis for factual findings and guideline applications.
• A Probation Officer supervises offenders to maximize adherence to imposed conditions, reduce risks to the community, and to provide correctional treatment. He/she maintains personal contact with offenders through office and community visits and by telephone. He/she investigates employment, sources of income, lifestyle, and associates to assess risks and compliance. He/she is responsible for detection of substance abuse and, through assessment and counseling, implements the necessary treatment and/or violation proceedings of offenders. The Probation Officer makes referrals to appropriate outside agencies such as mental health/drug treatment facilities and employment/training agencies. Collects and conducts urine screens on defendants
and offenders as needed. Evening and weekend work is required for supervision activities and travel is required. Probation Officers maintain a detailed record of case activity.
• Probation Officers initiate contact with, reply to, and seek information from organizations and persons such as the U.S. Parole Commission, Federal Bureau of Prisons, United States Attorney’s office, Federal Public Defender’s office, numerous federal agencies and various attorneys concerning defendants’ behavior and conditions of supervision. Probation Officers conduct preliminary interviews and other investigations as required.
• The U.S. Probation Office’s mission is to make the community safer by facilitating the administration of justice, providing opportunities for positive change while maintaining professional integrity, dignity, and respect for all. As a partner in the national federal probation system, the office is guided by the Charter for Excellence and the desire to ensure that each member of the team has an opportunity to develop their skills to the highest capability.
• Successful applicants must be mature, responsible, poised, organized and meticulous; must also possess tact, good judgment, initiative and the ability to work with a wide variety of people with diverse backgrounds. Applicants must possess exceptional writing skills. Due to the increasing number of Spanish speaking defendants/offenders, applicants fluent in Spanish are needed.
Completion of a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university in a field of academic study, such as criminal justice, criminology, sociology, human relations, or business or public administration, which provides evidence of the capacity to understand and apply the legal requirements and human relation skills involved in the work of the position, is required for all probation officer positions. Three years of specialized experience is preferred.
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. Experience as a police officer, custodial, or security officer, other than any criminal investigative experience, is not creditable.
MAXIMUM ENTRY AGE AND PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS
• First time appointees to positions covered under law enforcement officer retirement provisions must not have reached their 37th birthday at the time of the appointment.
• Applicants 37 or over with 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 age requirement. 2021-DSC-12 U.S. Probation Officer (All Divisions)
• The duties of probation and pretrial services officers require the investigation and management of alleged criminal defendants or convicted offenders who present physical danger to officers and to the public. In the supervision, treatment, and control of defendants/offenders, these duties require moderate to arduous physical exercise, including prolonged periods of walking and standing, physical dexterity and coordination necessary for officer safety, and use of self-defense tactics. Daily, these officers face unusual mental and physical stress because they are subject to danger and possible harm during frequent, direct contact with individuals who are suspected or convicted of committing federal offenses.
• Because officers must effectively deal with physical attacks and are subject to arduous physical exertion, applicants must be physically capable. Vision and hearing must be adequate to perform the duties listed safely and effectively. Any severe health problems, such as physical defects, disease, and deformities that constitute employment hazards to the applicant, and/or others, may disqualify an applicant. Examples of health problems that may be disqualifying are an untreated hernia, cardiovascular disorders, serious deformities or disabilities of the extremities, mental health disorders, fainting and/or seizure disorders, metabolic disorders, bleeding disorders, pulmonary disorders, and marked speech abnormalities.
• The medical requirements and the essential job functions derived from the medical guidelines for probation officers, pretrial officers and officer assistants are available for public view at www.uscourts.gov.
OUT OF DISTRICT SPECIALIZED TRAINING
If not already serving as a U.S. Probation/Pretrial Services Officer prior to appointment in this district, newly appointed officers to the position of U.S. Probation Officer will be required to attend a six (6) week training course at the Federal Probation and Pretrial Academy in Charleston, SC.
Information for Applicants
The Probation Office reserves the right to modify the conditions of this job announcement, or to withdraw the announcement, any of which may occur without prior written notice. Multiple positions will be filled from this posting. In the event that a position becomes vacant in a similar classification, within a reasonable time of the original announcement, the Chief U.S. Probation Officer may elect to select a candidate from the applicants who responded to the original announcement without posting the position. Due to the volume of applications received, the U.S. Probation Office will contact only the most qualified applicants who will be invited for an interview. Only those interviewed will receive notification when the vacancy is filled. Applicants selected for interviews will be subject to a skills assessment process. Applicants who do not submit all required materials, as stated in the “How to Apply” section of the vacancy announcement, will be evaluated solely on the information available and may not receive full consideration or may not be considered eligible.
Successful employment with the United States Courts is based on acceptable performance and is an at-will employment opportunity as determined by the Court Unit Executive. Promotional potential for positions are based on successful performance, consistently meeting expectations of the position when evaluated through the performance management plan, and overall accretion of duties and responsibilities. The promotional potential is not considered a vacancy but is considered a career ladder strategy and will therefore not require further competition. Promotional actions are earned and are not to be considered as entitlements. Prior to appointment, the selectee considered for this position will undergo a medical examination, complete a ten year background investigation (which includes an FBI fingerprint) and drug screening. Upon successful completion of the medical examination and drug screening, the selectee may then be appointed provisionally, pending a favorable suitability determination by the court. In addition, as conditions of employment, incumbent will be subject to ongoing random drug screenings, updated background investigations every five (5) years and, as deemed necessary by management for reasonable cause, may be subject to subsequent fit-for-duty evaluations. Applicants must be a United States citizen or eligible to work in the United States. The Federal Immigration and Appropriations Law significantly limit the circumstances in which the Federal Judiciary may employ a non-citizen of the United States. Therefore, the United States Courts are responsible for ensuring that all new employees are eligible to work in the United States by reviewing one of the employment eligibility documents specified on the Form I-9 (Employment Eligibility Verification) before placing the selected candidate on federal payroll. Proof of eligibility status will be required. The Court requires all employees to adhere to a code of ethics and conduct as well as specific employee policies and performance expectations. (Please review Code of Conduct for Judicial Employees located on the website.) Electronic Funds Transfer (direct deposit) of pay is required. The U.S. Probation and Pretrial Services Office in the District of South Carolina is an Equal Opportunity Employer.