U.S. Probation Officer

Posted on July 8, 2024
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POSITION: U.S. Probation Officer (more than one position may be filled)
LOCATION: East St. Louis or Benton, Illinois
STARTING SALARY: CL 25 ($49,965 to $81,888)
DATE POSTED: July 1, 2024
CLOSING DATE: August 12, 2024, at 4:00 PM CT
• Salary set based on qualifications, experience, and pay setting rules per The Guide to
Judiciary Policy
• Promotion potential up to CL 28 without further advertisement or competition
• Transfers within the Federal Judiciary will be considered within the specified salary range

The District
The Southern District of Illinois geographically consists of a 38 county area in the southern part
of the state. The main office is located in East St. Louis, Illinois, with a divisional office in Benton,
Illinois. The district consists of 48 staff, including the Chief U.S. Probation Officer (CUSPO),
Deputy Chief U.S. Probation Officer (DCUSPO), management staff, probation officers, and
administrative staff.

Position Overview
Under the general supervision of the CUSPO, DCUSPO, and Supervisory Probation Officer, the
U.S. Probation Officer (USPO) conducts investigations and supervises people placed on
probation, parole, and supervised release. Duties also may include conducting pretrial
investigations to obtain background information and preparing reports for the court with
recommendations on if a defendant should be detained or released on bond pending a disposition
of the charge. The USPO gathers comprehensive factual information, which is verified through
collateral resources, and provides written and/or veerbal assistance to the court regarding pretrial
procedures in a clear, logical, and concise format.

The USPO conducts presentence investigations, interprets and applies the U.S. Sentencing
Commission guidelines and relevant case law, and prepares reports for the court with
recommendations for sentencing of individuals convicted of federal offenses.

Duties also may include supervision of individuals to maximize adherence to court-ordered
conditions, reduce risk to the community, and provide correctional treatment. The supervision
process involves maintaining personal contact with people under supervision through community
visits and office/telephone contacts; investigating employment, sources of income, lifestyle, and
associates to assess risk and compliance; detecting substance abuse through urine collection
and other methods; referring people under supervision to agencies for treatment; etc. The USPO
also submits reports to the court and provides testimony during court hearings.

Qualification Standards
Applicant must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university in a field of
academic study that provides evidence of the capacity to understand and apply the legal
requirements and human relations skills involved in the position. Applicant also must have one
year of specialized experience or superior academic achievement requirements or completion of
one academic year of graduate work in a field of study closely related to the position. A master’s
degree is desirable.

Specialized experience is progressively responsible experience in such fields as probation,
pretrial services, parole, corrections, criminal investigations, or work in substance abuse/addiction
treatment, public administration, human relations, social work, psychology, or mental health.
Unless previous positions included criminal investigative experience, time spent as a police,
custodial, or security officer is not creditable.

Additional Preferences
To qualify for this position, applicant also must demonstrate that he/she/they possess:
• a thorough knowledge of the philosophy, theories, and practices of the correctional field,
with a knowledge of law, psychology, sociology, criminology, and evidence-based
• a devotion to the protection of the community.
• the ability to develop rapport with people, inspire confidence, and secure cooperation.
• unquestioned integrity and exemplary character.
• the ability to exercise initiative in conflict resolution while performing assigned duties.
• the ability to conduct investigations of cases and make sound evaluations and
• a knowledge of available community resources and the understanding and skill to identify
additional resources.
• a history that demonstrates strong organizational skills and the ability to effectively meet
• the ability to perform effectively in a team-oriented work environment.

Employees of the U.S. Probation and Pretrial Services Office are “Excepted Appointments” and
considered “At-Will” judicial employees (not civil service). Federal benefits include paid vacation
and sick leave, paid holidays, and retirement benefits. Optional benefits include health, life, and
long-term care insurance, flexible spending accounts for health and dependent care, dental and
vision insurance, and a tax-deferred savings plan. For more detailed information about Federal
Judiciary benefits, please visit the United States Courts website at
https://www.uscourts.gov/careers/benefits. This position is subject to mandatory electronic fund
transfer (direct deposit) participation for payment of net pay.

Physical Requirements, Medical Standards, and Maximum Entry Age
This is a hazardous duty position that requires the investigation and management of people who
allegedly committed a crime or have been convicted of a crime, who present physical danger to
officers and to the public. In the supervision, treatment, and control of these people, these duties
require moderate to arduous physical exercise, including prolonged periods of walking and
standing, the physical dexterity and coordination necessary to operate a firearm, and use of selfdefense tactics. On a daily basis, these officers face unusual mental and physical stress because
they are subject to danger and possible harm during frequent, direct contact with individuals,
many times in the community, who are suspected or convicted of committing federal offenses.
Because officers must effectively deal with physical attacks and are subject to moderate and
arduous physical exertion, applicants must be physically capable. The medical requirements for
probation officers are available for public view at:

First time appointees to positions covered under law enforcement officer retirement provisions
must not have reached their 37th birthday at the time of appointment. The position of the probation
officer is classified as hazardous duty allowing for retirement at age 50 with 20 years of service
and mandatory retirement at the age of 57.

Background Investigation and Drug Screening
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 then be appointed provisionally, pending a favorable suitability determination of
a background investigation. In addition, as conditions of employment, employees are subject to
on-going random drug screening and updated background investigations every five years.

Procedures for Applying
Application packets should include the following:
• Cover letter consisting of no more than two pages describing your qualifications, skills,
and abilities that are relevant to the field of probation, court services, corrections, or
counseling. Please include which location you prefer – Benton or East St. Louis.
• Résumé with three professional references and contact numbers
• AO 78 Application Form (revised 03/2024) located at https://www.ilsp.uscourts.gov;
applicants also should complete questions 18, 19, and 20 on the AO 78.
• Last two performance evaluations
• College transcripts (with grade point average)
Application packets should be sent via email as one PDF document to
Recruitment1@ilsp.uscourts.gov. The subject line should state USPO Application 2024-04.
Receipt will be acknowledged by the Human Resources Department by return email. If you do
not receive email confirmation within three business days, please contact the Human Resources
Administrator at (618) 482-9425. Application packets must be received by 4:00 PM CT on the
closing date. Incomplete and late application materials will not be considered.

Applicants must be U.S. citizens or eligible to work in the United States. Selection will be
consistent with the Federal Judiciary’s policy to provide equal employment opportunity and to
promote and facilitate diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workforce. Due to the volume of
applications received, the U.S. Probation Office will only communicate with those applicants who
will be tested or interviewed. Applicants selected for interviews must travel at their own expense.
Relocation expenses will not be reimbursed.

The U.S. 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 or other notice. In
the event a position becomes vacant in a similar classification within 90 days 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. Employees
are required to adhere to a Code of Ethics and Conduct, which is available to applicants for review
upon request.

The United States Courts is an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer

It is our mission to strive for excellence as we serve the Courts and community
by providing quality supervision, promoting community safety,
inspiring positive changes in those we serve, and
administering justice with fairness and integrity