Employment Opportunities

All department job vacancies are posted on the city's Career Portal, and all applications must be submitted online. For more information, please call the Department of Juvenile Services at 757-926-1600.

Detention Specialist

General Statement of Responsibilities

Under general supervision, responsible for the custody, care, discipline, safety and security of juveniles assigned to various programs within the Department of Juvenile Services. Reports to a Secure Detention Supervisor.

Essential Job Functions

  • Monitors, supervises, observes, and reports on juveniles assigned in any of the department's settings and programs. Intervenes in crisis situations; oversees discipline and behavior modification of youth and enforces or recommends appropriate actions. Conducts security inspections; operates surveillance equipment; monitors fire alarm controls, electronic locking systems, and emergency evacuation systems.
  • Performs incoming and outgoing orientation and processing of clients. Explains program requirements, expectations and responsibilities to detainees and parents or guardians. Advises clients of alternate community resources. Completes detainees' personal, medical, and educational records or documents.
  • Plans, coordinates, or schedules the clients' individual and group activities including education, cultural, and social activities. May provide transportation to and from court, medical and other appointments, recreation, cultural activities, educational activities, job training, and other outings. May also arrange for materials and supplies for programs.
  • Provides for the safety and general health of residents, which may involve monitoring or dispensing medications, initiating dental care appointments, or other health or medical interventions including emergency medical attention such as First Aid or CPR.
  • Conducts case management to include maintaining necessary paperwork to track youths' progress, daily and general logs, visitor records, and other related documentation. Interacts daily with Court Clerks, Probation Officers, parents, and others. Testifies in court when subpoenaed.
  • Performs other duties as assigned.

Performance Standard

Employees at all levels are expected to effectively work together to meet the needs of the community and the organization through work behaviors demonstrating the city's values. Employees are also expected to lead by example and demonstrate the highest level of ethics.

Required Knowledge

  • Juvenile Justice - Knowledge of the criminal justice system and behavior observation techniques, principles, theories, and practices to include enforcing facility rules, juvenile law, regulations, and applicable legislation, crisis intervention, and verbal and physical intervention skills.
  • Technology - Knowledge of general office equipment, security systems, and personal computers to include word processing, spreadsheet, and related software.
  • Safety / Security - Knowledge of common safety rules, regulations, procedures, and practices to include effective restraint techniques, basic first aid, and CPR.

Required Skills

  • Decision Making - Evaluates and responds quickly to situations in a firm and tactful manner. Diffuses emotional situations and offers solutions. Considers the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Interpersonal Relationships - Develops and maintains cooperative and professional relationships with employees, managers, and representatives from other departments and organizations.
  • Time Management - Ability to plan and organize daily work routine as well as juveniles' activities. Establishes priorities with sound time-management methodology.
  • Computer Skills - Utilizes a personal computer with word processing, spreadsheet, and related software to effectively complete a variety of administrative tasks with reasonable speed and accuracy.

Required Abilities

  • Communication - Ability to communicate ideas effectively verbally and in writing, including the preparation of reports and logs. Ability to listen and understand directions, information, and ideas presented verbally and in writing. Ability to handle a variety of customer service issues with tact, confidentiality, and diplomacy in a confidential manner.
  • Judgment - Ability to anticipate, identify, and evaluate potentially dangerous, unusual, or deviating situations and to exercise appropriate judgment to establish priorities and take prompt action for problem resolution.

Education & Experience

Requires a Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice, Counseling, or closely related field or at least 4 years of responsible, closely related full time work experience, some of which should be with juveniles, or an equivalent combination of education and experience.

Additional Requirements

  • An acceptable comprehensive background investigation to include a local, state, and sex offender criminal history check as well as FBI Fingerprinting.
  • A valid driver's license with an acceptable driving record.
  • This position requires pre-employment medical evaluation, PPD, and substance abuse testing and is subject to random alcohol and controlled substance testing.
  • Individuals in this job classification cannot be listed as having a child abuse or neglect complaint.
  • Requires certifications be maintained in crisis intervention techniques (verbal and physical such as "Handle With Care"), first aid, and CPR.

Environmental Hazards

May risk exposure to violence and disease / pathogens.

Physical & Dexterity Requirements

Medium to heavy work that involves walking or standing most of the time and occasional stooping and lifting, and may include the performance of strenuous tasks requiring muscular strength, coordination, and cardiovascular endurance.

Sensory Requirements

The job requires normal visual acuity, field of vision, hearing, speaking, color perception, and depth perception.