Posting Date: September 30, 2020
Closing Date: Open until filled. Preference given to resumes received by Friday, October 23, 2020, at 5:00 p.m. Central Standard Time
Area of Consideration: Nationwide (Ongoing Recruitment)
Vacancies: Full-Time (One)
Location: Bemidji, MN
Classification and Salary Range:
- CL-25 to CL-28
- $42,302 to $99,762
(Salary commensurate with experience and location)
Vacancy Announcement Number: 2020-10
U.S. Probation and Pretrial Services in the District of Minnesota has its headquarters in the U.S. Courthouse located at 300 South Fourth Street, Suite 406, Minneapolis, Minnesota. There are four field offices located in Bemidji, Duluth, Fergus Falls, and Saint Paul. The Probation and Pretrial Services Office serves the Judicial District of Minnesota, which includes 87 counties.
This vacancy is located in the Bemidji, MN office. Bemidji is a Northern Minnesota regional center for shopping, arts, entertainment, education, health services, worship, and government services. https://www.ci.bemidji.mn.us/
U.S. Probation & Pretrial Services Officers (USPOs) serve in a judiciary law enforcement position and assist in the administration of justice and promote community safety, gather information, supervise persons under supervision, interact with collateral agencies, prepare reports, conduct investigations, and present recommendations to the court.
USPOs, for the District of Minnesota, are committed to enhanced community supervision programming focusing more on evidence-based practices. The selected candidate will serve under the guidance of a supervisor.
The starting classification level and salary are dependent upon experience and qualifications. Promotion potential is possible within the classification and salary range without further competition. This position is considered hazardous duty, which may require irregular work hours, to include nights, weekends, and holidays. It may also require frequent travel to divisional offices and requires a valid driver’s license.
- Conduct investigations and prepare reports for the court with recommendations, which requires interviewing offenders/defendants and their families, as well as collecting background data from various sources. An integral part of this process is the interpretation and application of policies and procedures, statutes, Federal Rules of Criminal Procedures, and may include U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, Monographs, and relevant case law. Track legal developments, and update staff and the court.
- Enforce court-ordered supervision components and implement supervision strategies. Maintain personal contact with defendants and offenders through office and community contacts and by telephone. Investigate employment, sources of income, lifestyle, and associates to assess risk and compliance. Address substance abuse, mental health, domestic violence, and similar problems and implement the necessary treatment or violation proceedings, through assessment, monitoring, and counseling.
- Investigate and analyze financial documents and activities and take appropriate action. Interview victim(s) and provide victim impact statements to the court. Ensure compliance with Mandatory Victims Restitution Act. Responsible for enforcement of location monitoring conditions ordered by the court, and in some districts may perform location monitoring reintegration on behalf of the Bureau of Prisons.
- Review and resolve disputed issues involving offenders/defendants and present unresolved issues to the court for resolution. Assess offenders’/defendants’ level of risk and develop a blend of risk management strategies for controlling and correcting risk.
- Communicate with other organizations and persons (such as the U.S. Parole Commission, Bureau of Prisons, law enforcement, treatment agencies, and attorneys) concerning offenders’/defendants’ behavior and conditions of supervision. Identify and investigate violations and implement appropriate alternatives and sanctions. Report violations of the conditions of supervision to the appropriate authorities. Prepare written reports of violation matters, and make recommendations for disposition. Testify at court or parole hearings. Conduct Parole Commission preliminary interviews. Guide the work of staff providing administrative and technical assistance to officers.
- Schedule and conduct drug use detection tests and DNA collection of offenders/defendants, following established procedures and protocols. Maintain paper and computerized records of test results. Maintain chain of custody of urinalysis testing materials.
- Respond to judicial officer’s requests for information and advice. Testify in court as to the basis for factual findings and (if warranted) guideline applications. Serve as a resource to the court. Maintain detailed written records of case activity. May conduct surveillance and/or search and seizure at the direction of the court.
- The selected candidate must be a U.S. citizen or foreign national eligible for federal employment.
- Possession of a valid driver’s license.
- 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.
- Further, the selected candidate must have specialized experience as shown below:
One year of specialized experience equivalent to work at the CL-23; or Completion of the requirements for a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university and one of the following superior academic achievement requirements:
- An overall “B” grade point average equaling 2.90 or better;
- Standing in the upper third of the class;
- 3.5 average or better in the major field of study;
- Completion of one academic year (30 semester or 45 quarter hours) of graduate work in a field of study closely related to the position.
Two years of specialized experience, including at least 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.
Two years of specialized experience, including at least one-year equivalent to work at the CL-27.
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, custodial, or security officer, other than any criminal investigative experience, is not creditable.
PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS (COURT PREFERRED SKILLS)
The ideal candidate may also possess the following preferred skills:
- A master’s degree or current enrollment in a related graduate program.
- Extensive knowledge of Evidence Based Practices (to include re-entry programming) and skill in their application.
- Skill in communicating effectively, both orally and in writing, with individuals and groups to provide information, facilitate meetings, and influence decision-makers and strive for high level achievement.
- Demonstrated leadership by showing initiative in engaging in project management and establishing programs which help achieve an organization’s mission and vision
- Demonstrated use of technology to improve processes.
Prior to appointment, the selected candidate must undergo a medical examination and drug screening. Upon successful completion, the candidate may then be appointed provisionally, pending a favorable suitability determination by the Court.
Officers must possess, with or without corrective lenses, good distance vision in at least one eye and the ability to read normal size print. Normal hearing ability, with or without a hearing aid, is also required. Any severe health problems, such as physical defects, disease, and deformities that constitute employment hazards to the applicant or others, may disqualify the candidate.
BACKGROUND INVESTIGATION & MAXIMUM ENTRY AGE REQUIREMENTS
As a condition of employment, the selected candidate will be subject to ongoing random drug screening, updated background investigations every five years, and as deemed necessary by management for reasonable cause. Selected candidate may be subject to subsequent fitness for duty evaluations.
First time appointees to positions covered under law enforcement officer retirement provisions must not have reached their 37th birthday at the time of appointment, as defined in Title 5, U.S.C. Chapters 83 and 84.Applicants 37 or over who have 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 maximum age requirement.
To be considered for a transfer within the Judiciary, an applicant must be a current U.S. Probation Officer with one to four years’ experience, in good standing (including consistent, high quality job experience/performance), and preferably had their initial background investigation completed and adjudicated. If the initial background has not been completed and adjudicated, the district reserves the right to conduct its own investigation into the applicant’s background.
U.S. Probation Officers transferring from another district are not required to undergo a medical examination, drug testing, nor the initial OPM background investigation. However, all applicable standards for the background reinvestigation apply. The Chief U.S. Probation Officer may, at his discretion, request drug and/or medical testing be conducted if, through direct or objective evidence, finds an officer is unable to perform the essential job functions, as defined in the medical guidelines. Also, at the Chief’s discretion, the most recent reinvestigation report completed on behalf of the officer may be examined.
Work is performed in an office setting and in the community, and may be subject to variable hours, including nights, holidays, and weekends. Work requires regular contact with people who have violent backgrounds. These contacts may be made in both generally controlled office settings as well as in field situations (such as uncontrolled and unsafe neighborhoods/environments where illegal activities and violence may occur). The duties of USPOs require the investigation and management of alleged criminal offenders or convicted offenders who present physical danger to officers and the public. In the supervision, treatment, and control of these 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.
CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT
Candidates selected for interviews will be required to participate in job-related testing as part of the screening process. Prior to appointment, the selected candidate must undergo a local records check, full OPM background investigation, finger printing, medical examination, check of financial and credit records, and drug screening.
Judiciary employees serve under excepted appointments and are considered “at-will” and may be terminated with or without cause or notice by the Court.
New USPOs receive extensive training during their year of employment. USPOs must also successfully complete a six-week national training program at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (Probation and Pretrial Academy), in Charleston, South Carolina.
The United States District Court requires employees to adhere to a Code of Conduct Policy.
This position is subject to mandatory Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT) for payroll deposit.
- The opportunity to serve in a rewarding public service position.
- Accrual of paid vacation and sick leave.
- Paid federal holidays.
- Extensive health, life, dental, vision, and long-term care insurance plans.
- A defined benefit pension plan.
- On-site fitness centers.
- Traditional (pre-tax) and Roth (after-tax) retirement savings and investment plans through the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) with employer matching contributions.
- Pre-tax transportation, medical, and childcare reimbursement accounts.
- Extensive on-line training options. Travel reimbursement for in-person training and professional conferences available, funds permitting.
- Telework, alternative work schedules, and other workplace flexibilities (depending upon performance).
- Federal Student Loan Forgiveness eligibility.
APPLICATION INFORMATION AND PROCESS
Qualified candidates should complete an application of employment and submit the following documents via our electronic applicant tracking system: https://www.mnp.uscourts.gov/career-opportunities
- A cover letter (not to exceed three pages), which includes a concise description of the following:
- Your familiarity and ongoing experience in evidence-based practices, including how you have applied evidence-based practice competencies to your work; and
- A summary of how you have used technology to streamline operations and work more efficiently.
- A resume, including dates of employment, duties and responsibilities, and key accomplishments.
- Names and contact information of three professional references.
Only applications completed in entirety, using our electronic online database, will be considered for this opportunity.
All application materials received will be reviewed to identify the best qualified candidates. Only the most qualified candidates will be invited for interviews. Due to COVID-19, first interviews will likely be scheduled via Zoom. If interviews are held in person, applicants are responsible for any travel costs.
The U.S. District Court reserves the right to modify the conditions of this job announcement or to withdraw the announcement, or to fill the position sooner than the closing date, any of which action may occur without prior written notice.
THE UNITED STATES COURT IS AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER