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  • 1 Courthouse Way
    Boston, MA 02210

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Chief U.S. Probation Officer


Posted 1 month ago

Job Snapshot

Government - Civil Service, Law Enforcement
Government - Federal, Admin - Clerical, Legal

Job Description

The United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts is seeking a qualified individual for the position of Chief United States Probation Officer. The Chief Probation Officer is a Court Unit Executive who reports directly to the Chief Judge. This position is currently authorized a staff of over 90 employees, including probation officers and administrative and clerical staff, serving 11 District Judges, 6 Senior District Judges, and 7 full-time Magistrate Judges. The United States
Probation & Pretrial Services Office in this district encompasses the entire Commonwealth of
Massachusetts and consists of the headquarters in Boston, as well as four divisional offices in
Lawrence, Taunton, Springfield and Worcester.

Representative Duties
The Chief U.S. Probation Officer is responsible for the administration and management of the Federal Probation, Parole and Pretrial Services, in accordance with the applicable statutes of Title 18, U.S.C. §3602, to the District Court, the Judicial Conference of the United States, the Administrative Office of the United States Courts, and the United States Parole Commission. These duties include: 

Organizes the U.S. Probation & Pretrial Services Office to ensure expeditious handling of investigative
work for the courts, institutions, and parole authorities to include the preparation of bond reports,
presentence investigation reports and the effective supervision of probationers, parolees and supervised
Reviews, analyzes and interprets statutory, Judicial Conference, Parole Commission and U.S. Sentencing
Commission requirements for the administration of pretrial, probation, parole and supervised release; and
promulgates policies, procedures, and guidelines necessary to meet these requirements.
Maintains administrative liaison with the court of jurisdiction to include promulgating policies, procedures
and guidelines to meet the unique needs of the court, along with standards to ensure an appropriate level of
service delivery.
Establishes and maintains cooperative relationships with other local court executives, law enforcement,
social service and other community agencies to ensure appropriate level of service delivery to the court
and community.
Maintains liaison with the chief judge and other judges; makes specific recommendations regarding courtrelated
criminal justice issues with particular emphasis on matters relating to sound bail, sentencing and
offender supervision practices.
Selects and recommends candidates for appointment as probation officers to the court, and appoints all
non- officer personnel; provides specific recommendations to the court in all other personnel matters
including promotions, salary increases, disciplinary actions, and dismissals; determines that all personnel
are carefully selected and adequately trained; makes certain the work of all subordinates is systematically
Prepares operating budget and makes estimates of personnel, space allocation and operating allowance
needs; approves requisitions, certifies vouchers for payment; and maintains appropriate fiscal controls in
all matters pertaining to travel expenses and purchases of services, equipment and supplies.
Manages the staff of the office, including all clerical, professional, supervisory and administrative
Maintains a system of communication, enabling awareness of pertinent information at all levels; delegates
decision-making responsibility at appropriate levels; provides qualitative and quantitative measures of
work performance; and, assures accountability with minimal interference to service delivery.
Establishes and administers continuing in-service training programs to insure high-quality service
delivery through consistent staff development.
Responsible for the oversight of the solicitation and implementation of contractual services for substance
abuse and mental health treatment of clients.
Establishes and maintains cooperative relationships with other probation and pretrial services offices to
assure all requests for assistance from other districts are met promptly and effectively.
Promotes and maintains conditions which encourage staff loyalty, enthusiasm and morale.
Develops and maintains a public relations program which explains pretrial, probation, parole, pretrial
services and other correctional services to the community; assumes responsibility for communication to the
news media.
Performs related duties as required by the court.

Job Requirements

FBI Background Investigation This is a “High-Sensitive” position. As a condition of employment, the selected candidate must successfully complete a ten-year background investigation and every five years thereafter will be subject to an updated investigation similar to the initial one. The incumbent will also be subject to preemployment and periodic random drug testing. 

Maximum Entry Age There is no “maximum entry age” for this position; however, in order to be included under federal law enforcement officer retirement provisions, an individual would have to meet “maximum entry age” provisions as follows: First-time appointees to positions covered under law enforcement officer retirement provisions must not have reached their 37th birthday at the time of appointment. Applicants age 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 requirements. 

Medical Requirements Prior to appointment under the federal law enforcement retirement provision, the selectee 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 background investigation and suitability determination by the court. 

As conditions of employment, the incumbent will be subject to ongoing random drug screening, an updated background investigation every five years, and, as deemed necessary by the court for reasonable cause, may be subject to subsequent fitness-for duty evaluations. 

The medical requirements and essential job functions derived from the medical guidelines for probation officers are available for public review at 

Qualifications   To qualify for a position of chief probation officer up to JSP -16 a person must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university and possess three years of progressively responsible specialized experience earned after the bachelor’s degree has been issued. The three years of specialized experience is mandatory and does not permit any substitutions. 

To qualify for a position of chief probation officer above JSP-16, a person must, in addition to the three years of progressively responsible specialized experience, possess three years of substantial management experience earned after the bachelor’s degree has been issued. 

Specialized Experience  Progressively responsible experience in investigations, supervision, counseling and guidance of offenders in community correction or pretrial programs is required.  Experience as a police officer, FBI agent, customs agent, marshal or similar positions does not meet the requirements of specialized experience.   

Substantial Management Experience Substantial management experience is high-level administrative experience that provided a thorough understanding of the organizational, procedural and human aspects of managing an organization. Such experience typically includes financial management, space and facilities management, oversight of the information technology and human resources functions, and long and short-range planning. Possible titles indicative of this experience outside the judiciary would include president or vice president in charge of several departments or offices, director or assistant director in charge of several departments or offices, head manager or owner-operator of a medium to large company. Possible titles within the judiciary would include deputy chief probation officer, deputy chief pretrial services officer, assistant deputy chief probation officer or assistant deputy chief pretrial services officer. 

Preferred Qualifications:  Previous management/leadership experience, education, or training relevant to U.S. Probation Office operations and/or at least five years previous experience within the probation system at the CL-30 Supervisory U. S. Probation Officer level, or equivalent. 

Specialized high-level administrative experience in budgeting and financial management, staffing and human resources functions, long and short-range planning, and oversight of information technology systems. 

The ability to analyze relevant information and prepare an accurate written summary of technical information in an organized, objective, clear, and concise manner. 

Knowledge of the U.S. Sentencing guidelines, applicable statutes and case law, and Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. 

A compelling vision of evidence-based practices and re-entry initiatives which clearly link to current and future operations and activities. 

 Experience in managing and implementing programs and policies consistent with evidence-based principles. 

Excellent oral and written communication skills. 

A graduate degree in a related field. 

Successful candidates must be leaders and motivators; must be mature and highly organized; must possess tact, strong integrity, mature judgment, poise, and initiative; and must maintain a professional appearance and demeanor at all times. Ability to meet with the public, work harmoniously with others, and communicate effectively, both orally and in writing, is required. Must be flexible and conscientious about detail and accuracy. Must be able to balance the demands of varying workload responsibilities and deadlines. 

Benefits A generous benefits package is available and includes the following: • Ten (10) paid federal holidays • Paid annual and sick leave • Retirement benefits under the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS), which includes the Thrift Savings Plan, a 401k style retirement savings program with employer matching and automatic contributions • Health benefits under the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHB) • Life insurance benefits under the Federal Employees Group Life Insurance Program (FEGLI) • Flexible Benefits Program with Healthcare, Dependent Care, and Commuter/Parking Reimbursement Accounts • Dental and Vision insurance options under the Federal Employees Vision and Dental Insurance Program (FEDVIP) • Long Term Care Insurance options through the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) • Transit Subsidy Program (upon successful completion of the initial probationary period) 

 How To Apply: 

Submit an original and 5 copies of your cover letter with resume and completed AO-78, Application for Federal Judicial Branch Employment by close of business on Friday, May 31, 2019 to: 

United States Probation & Pretrial Services Office  CONFIDENTIAL – CHIEF USPO APPLICATION  Attn: Kristi Allard, Human Resources Director  John Joseph Moakley U.S. Courthouse  1 Courthouse Way, Suite 1200 Boston, MA 02210 Vac. #19-02 

The cover letter should describe: your administrative experience as it relates to managing limited staffing and budget resources; a major project you have managed and its impact on the organization; the most challenging experience in the area of human resource management you have had and how you resolved the situation; your experience in policy research and development, analysis and evaluation; and identify what level of executives with whom you have worked and your responsibilities in dealing with these individuals.   

Application forms can be found in fillable format on the Court’s website at Please print or type all information and provide your signature, where indicated. 

Selection Process The most qualified applicants will be invited for one or more personal interviews with the court. Persons selected to interview will be required to travel to the interview location at their own expense. Relocation expenses may be authorized at the discretion of the Chief Judge, and with the approval of the Circuit. 

Information for Applicants Employees of the U.S. District Court are appointed in the excepted service, are considered “at-will” employees, and serve at the pleasure of the Court. All Court employees are required to adhere to a Code of Conduct, copies of which are available upon request. Applicants must be a United States Citizen or permanently eligible to work in the United States. The United States District Court is a part of the Judicial Branch of the United States government. Although comparable to the Executive Branch (civil service) in salary, leave accrual, health benefits, life insurance benefits, and retirement benefits, generally court employees are not subject to the many statutory and regulatory provisions that govern civil service employment. 

The U. S. Probation Office reserves the right to modify the conditions of this job announcement or to withdraw the job announcement or to fill the position earlier than the closing date, if a closing date is shown, any of which actions may occur without any prior written notice. Applicants who do not submit all requested materials by the closing date of this announcement may lose consideration for the position. 

Due to the expected high volume of applicants for this position, the U.S. Probation Office will only make contact with those qualified applicants who will be invited to interview. Applicants invited for a personal interview will be subject to a criminal record check with law enforcement agencies. 

The Federal Financial Management Reform Act requires direct deposit of federal wages.    



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