US Probation and Pretrial Services Officer

Posted on September 17, 2021
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U.S. Probation and Pretrial Services District of Alaska

SALARY RANGE: CL 25-28 ($49,797 - $112,659) Plus 2.86% COLA

DISTRICT OF ALASKA - U.S. Probation and Pretrial Services in the District of Alaska has a staff of less than 40 officers and administrative personnel, which includes Shared Services. There are staffed offices in Anchorage and Fairbanks. 

  • The district covers 586,000 majestic square miles which provides unique travel and fieldwork opportunities. Officers experience remote locations firsthand, dynamic communities and cultures, and the natural environment and resources that are unique to Alaska.
  • The district offers significant professional and personal development opportunities. Cross-training is available to all staff, with an emphasis on learning to lead which allows officers to become self-sufficient and well-rounded.
  •  Officers work with a diverse group of clients and engage with various community and legal agencies.
  • Become part of a unique team that encourages feedback from staff and allows the opportunity to take ownership regarding the district’s direction. A supportive work environment, which encourages communication among our team members.

POSITION OVERVIEW - The United States Probation and Pretrial Services Office for the District of Alaska is accepting applications for a United States Probation and Pretrial Services Officer. By statute, probation officers serve in a judiciary law enforcement capacity, assist in the fair administration of justice, promote community safety, gather information, supervise individuals on pretrial and postconviction supervision, interact with collateral agencies, conduct investigations, prepare reports, and present recommendations to the Court. The positions will be assigned representative duties based on the skills and qualifications of the successful candidates. The United States Probation and Pretrial Services Office for the District of Alaska is committed to the goals, mission and values of The United States Probation and Pretrial Services Charter for Excellence.


Pretrial Services - Conduct investigations, research the criminal and social backgrounds of defendants charged with federal offenses, and interview defendants and their families. Compile information gathered to prepare reports and make release recommendations to the court. Represent the probation and pretrial services office at court proceedings. Supervise defendants on pretrial release to ensure public safety, compliance with release conditions, investigate alleged violations of release, and report findings to the court.

Presentence Investigations - Conduct investigations, interview defendants, their families, and collateral sources to obtain background information. Investigate criminal history and finances. Interview victim(s) and provide victim impact statements to the court. Prepare reports for the court with recommendations for sentencing defendants convicted of federal offenses. Analyze and respond to objections and present unresolved objections to the court. An integral part of this position requires the interpretation and application of policies and procedures, statutes, the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedures, U.S. Sentencing Commission Guidelines, and case law. Skill in legal reasoning and critical thinking is preferred. Track legal developments and serve as a resource to judicial officers for information and advice to facilitate proper imposition of a sentence.

Post-Conviction Responsibilities - Supervise and evaluate the behavior of individuals on probation, supervised release, or parole to bring about improvements in conduct, ensure public safety, and monitor compliance with court-ordered conditions. Complete written investigations/evaluations on proposed release plans for individuals releasing from imprisonment. Develop supervision and treatment plans to include identification of risk, need and responsivity; community safety requirements; establish specific objectives; and assist in securing employment and medical, legal, or social services. Investigate, evaluate, and report behavior of individuals on supervision and make recommendations to the court for sentencing of individuals alleged to have violated conditions of probation, supervised release, or parole. Maintain personal contact with individuals on supervision in the community, office, and telephonically. Cooperate with U.S. Probation and Pretrial Services offices nationally regarding the investigation and supervision of individuals involved in the federal court system, to include courtesy supervision, travel permits, and perform related services as requested. Utilize data to organize workload, and analyze reports to identify problems, trends, and to formulate solutions. Maintain case records as required by statute or by the court, the Administrative Offices of the U.S. Courts, and the Chief U.S. Probation and Pretrial Services Officer; document interactions and events related to representative duties as directed under existing policies and procedures. Knowledge of and compliance with, The Code of Conduct for Judicial Employees and court confidentiality requirements. Ability to consistently demonstrate sound ethics and judgment. Participate in and contribute to ongoing inter and intra-agency training programs. Keep informed of and apply new developments and techniques in the judicial and correctional fields. Travel within the State of Alaska is required to perform job duties.

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS - Applicant must be a U.S. citizen or foreign national eligible for federal employment. Completion of a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university in a field of academic study, such as criminal justice, criminology, psychology, sociology, human relations, business or public administration, or another closely related field which provides evidence of the capacity to understand and apply the legal requirements and human relations skills involved in the position, is required for all probation and pretrial services officer positions.


CL 25 - Bachelor’s degree and one of the following superior academic achievement requirements:

  • Overall “B” grade point average equaling 2.9 or better of a possible 4.0;
  • Standing in the upper third of the class;
  • 3.5 average or better in major field of study; or
  • Completion of one academic year (30 semester or 45 quarter hours) of graduate work in a field of study closely related to the position.

CL 27 - Bachelor’s degree and two years of specialized experience, including one year equivalent to work at the CL-25; or completion of a master’s degree in a field of study closely related to the position, or a Juris doctor (JD) degree

CL 28 - Bachelor’s degree and two years specialized experience, including at least one-year equivalent to work at the CL-27.

SPECIALIZED EXPERIENCE - 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 abuse/addiction treatment. Experience as a police officer, custodial or security officer, other that any criminal investigative experience, is not creditable.

PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS - In addition to the minimum qualifications, preference may be given to candidates with any of the following:

  • A Juris Doctor or a master’s degree in a closely related field of study
  • Knowledge of evidence-based practices, risk, need, and responsivity principles, cognitive-behavioral interventions
  • Organization skills to manage all aspects of an individual’s case, including documenting
  • Knowledge, understanding, and skills required to identify community resources
  •  Ability to conduct legal research related to varied and complex legal issues
  •  Bilingual skills

PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS AND MAXIMUM ENTRY AGE - The duties of probation and pretrial services officers require the investigation and management of individuals (pretrial and post-conviction) who present physical danger to officers and the public. In the supervision, treatment, and control of these individuals, these duties require moderate to arduous physical exercise, including prolonged periods of walking and standing, physical dexterity and coordination, and use of self-defense tactics. On a daily basis, officers face unusual mental and physical stress because they are subject to danger and possible harm while conducting their duties. The medical requirements and the essential functions derived from the medical guidelines for probation officers are available for public review at Due to the hazardous duty retirement requirements of the Federal Government, applicants must not have reached their 37th birthday before date of hire unless they have prior federal hazardous duty experience sufficient to complete 20 years by the mandatory retirement age of 57.

SELECTION PROCESS - Prior to appointment, the selectee considered for this position will undergo a medical examination and drug screening. Upon successful completion of the medical examination and drug screening, the selectee may be appointed provisionally, pending favorable suitability determination by the court. A full background investigation will be conducted as a condition of employment. Any applicant selected for a position will be hired provisionally pending successful completion of the background investigation. Unsatisfactory results may result in termination of employment. In addition, as conditions of employment, the incumbent will be subject to ongoing random drug screening and updated background investigations every five years, and, as deemed necessary by management for reasonable cause, may be subject to subsequent fitness-for-duty evaluations.


  • Employees of the federal judiciary must adhere to all Judicial Conference regulations, follow the policies in the Guide to Judicial Policy, and are bound by the Code of Conduct for Judicial Employees.
  • Employees are considered “at-will” employees and are not subject to the employment regulations of competitive service.
  • Position is subject to mandatory participation of electronic salary payments (i.e. direct deposit).
  • All information provided by applicants is subject to verification and background investigation. Applicants are advised that false statements or omission of information on any application materials may be grounds for non-selection, withdrawal of an offer of employment, or dismissal after being employed.

Qualified candidates must submit a cover letter that details the steps you have taken to prepare for this leadership position, resume, most recent performance evaluation, and three professional references. As a part of the interview process, candidates must conduct a 10 to 15-minute presentation on the following:

  • Letter
  • Resume
  • Most recent performance evaluation \ Three professional references
  • Form AO 78 - Application for Judicial Branch of Federal Employment

The cover letter should be addressed to Ms. Rhonda Langford Taylor, Chief U. S. Probation Officer and detail your specialized experience and preferred qualifications. Incomplete packets will not be considered. The application packet must be emailed as one document in PDF format and reference your name and the vacancy announcement USPO 21-08 in the email subject line.