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Youth Correctional Counselor (9581)

Youth Correctional Counselor

California State Personnel Board Specification

  • Schematic Code: XS10
  • Class Code: 9581
  • Established: 07/07/1966
  • Revised: 12/13/2018
  • Title Changed: 09/01/1998


Under supervision, as a sworn essential public safety officer in a Juvenile facility (institution, camp, drug treatment center, or special community program), is responsible and accountable for the counseling, supervision, and custody of an assigned group of youthful offenders; analyzes, organizes, and records casework information necessary for treatment and parole planning; and does other related work.


Typical Tasks

Directs, counsels, and supervises youthful offenders in their daily living and activity programs; maintains living unit custody and necessary discipline which may include verbal commands, and physical, mechanical, or chemical restraint of out-of-control youthful offenders; utilizes de-escalation/communication/use of force techniques to defend the safety and security of a correctional institution; use reasonable force when appropriate to protect the safety and security of the public, staff, inmates, and the institution; responds to emergencies, escapes, and disturbances as directed; document any incidents per policy and procedures; develops and implements constructive activity programs for periods of time when youthful offenders are not in an academic or vocational work program; provides a planned, scheduled, casework program of individual and small group counseling for an assigned case load of approximately ten (10) to twelve (12) youthful offenders; assists in the classification of assigned youthful offenders for purposes of assuring appropriate placement on a living unit, in a work experience or academic/vocational training program, or for other special programmatic needs; participates in large group counseling sessions on the living unit conducted during work shift; communicates and coordinates with other facility staff regarding observations and conclusions resulting from work with assigned youthful offenders; prepares written progress evaluations, treatment summaries, and other reports required by the Department and the Board of Juvenile Hearings; implements treatment plans developed by the treatment team to which assigned; presents diagnostic and treatment information about assigned youthful offenders at scheduled case conferences; assists in planning and carrying out programs of education, recreation, intramural sports, community service projects, victim awareness, and other activities; involves volunteers in program activities on a planned, regular basis, and maintains appropriate volunteer records; may work with the Free Venture Coordinator of the facility to screen/refer youthful offenders as appropriate; trains and oversees youthful offenders in cleanliness, personal care, and grooming; operates electronic word and data processing systems for information input and retrieval; participates in in-service training sessions; orders materials and supplies necessary for the operation of the unit. At a youth conservation fire camp, works cooperatively with staff of law enforcement and fire suppression departments as necessary; operates a motor vehicle as necessary; and supervises youth conservation fire camp activities of a group of youthful offenders.


Minimum Qualifications

Either I

Experience: One year of experience in the California state service performing duties of a peace officer and maintaining the security, custody, and supervision of adult or youthful offenders in a correctional facility. 



Education: Equivalent to graduation from a four-year college or university. (Registration as a senior in an accredited college or university will admit applicants to the examination, but applicants must produce evidence of graduation or its equivalent before they can be considered eligible for appointment.) 



Equivalent to completion of two years (60 semester units) of college and two years of experience working with youth in one or a combination of the following:

  1. Youth correctional agency.
  2. Parole or probation department.
  3. Family, children, or youth guidance center.
  4. Juvenile bureau of law enforcement.
  5. Education or recreation agency.
  6. Mental Health Facility.


Knowledge and Abilities

Knowledge of: The mission of the Department; the impact of community, social, and environmental conditions which contribute to delinquent behavior; principles and techniques of individual and group counseling and guidance of youthful offenders; techniques for the development of socially acceptable and responsible behavior in youthful offenders.


Ability to: Effectively communicate at a level necessary for successful performance on the job; interpret and follow instructions and departmental policies and procedures; apply the principles and techniques of individual and group counseling and guidance of youthful offenders; gain the interest, respect, and cooperation of other facility personnel, youthful offenders, and the public; maintain custody and impose fair and firm discipline; plan and conduct recreational activities; act independently and make decisions; analyze situations accurately and take effective action; think and act quickly in emergencies; accept and use supervisory direction and consultation constructively; learn electronic word and data processing systems for information input and retrieval.


Special Personal Characteristics

Emotional maturity and stability; demonstrated leadership ability; empathetic and objective understanding of the problems of youthful offenders in custody; honesty; integrity; tact; patience; high moral standards; neat personal appearance; keenness of observation; continuing satisfactory record as a law-abiding citizen; willingness to work impartially with and accept the various racial, ethnic, and cultural differences of the youthful offenders in custody; punctuality and willingness to work various shifts, including weekends and holidays, and to report for duty at any time emergencies arise; sound physical, mental, and emotional condition; strength, endurance, and agility necessary to meet the demands of the job; corrected distance visual acuity of 20/20 or better in each eye; an uncorrected distance visual acuity of 20/60 or better in each eye; ability to pass the Farnsworth D-15 color vision test (normal color vision or only a mild to moderate color vision deficiency) and a peripheral field of view of at least 120 degrees of horizontal extent and 100 degrees of vertical extent, with no evidence of scotomas (nonseeing areas) within the full visual field of each eye; and hearing sufficient to meet the demands of the job.


The Youth Correctional Counselors are expected to demonstrate high ethical standards consistent with other state peace officer classifications and perform in such a way that facilitates and promotes the department’s rehabilitative programs, polices, and public safety efforts.


Desirable Qualifications

Possession of a valid driver license; a commercial driver license is necessary for persons performing youth conservation fire camp or transportation officer duties.


Age Limitation

Minimum age for appointment is 21 years of age.


Peace Officer Standards

Education Requirement: Pursuant to Government Code Section 1031(e), be a high school graduate, pass the General Education Development Test indicating high school graduation level, pass the California High School Proficiency Examination, or have attained a two-year or four-year degree from an accredited college or university. The high school shall be either a United States public school meeting the high school standards set by the State in which it is located, an accredited United States Department of Defense high school, or an accredited nonpublic high school. Any accreditation required by this paragraph shall be from an accrediting association recognized by the Secretary of the United States Department of Education. This subdivision shall not apply to any public officer or employee who was employed, prior to the effective date of the amendment of this section made at the 1971 Regular Session of the Legislature, in any position declared by law prior to the effective date of that amendment to be peace officer positions.

Citizenship Requirement: Pursuant to Government Code Section 1031(a), in order to be a peace officer, a person must be either a U.S. Citizen or be a permanent resident alien who is eligible for and has applied for U.S. Citizenship. Any permanent resident alien who is employed as a peace officer shall be disqualified from holding that position if his/her application for citizenship is denied.

Felony Disqualification: Pursuant to Government Code Section 1029, persons convicted of a felony are disqualified from employment as peace officers except as provided under Welfare and Institutions Code, Division 2, Chapter 3, Article 8, Section 1179(b), or Division 2.5, Chapter 1, Article 4, Section 1772(b). Except as provided for by these statutes, persons convicted of a felony are not eligible to compete for, or be appointed to, positions in this class.

Firearm Conviction Disqualification: Anyone who is restricted for employment-related purposes from accessing, possessing, carrying, receiving, or having under his/her control a firearm or ammunition under all applicable State or Federal laws is ineligible for appointment to any position in this classification.

Background Investigation: Pursuant to Government Code Section 1029.1, persons successful in peace officer examinations shall be required to undergo a thorough background investigation prior to appointment. Persons who have previously undergone a Youth Authority background investigation may be required to undergo only a partial background investigation.

Medical Requirement: Pursuant to Government Code Section 1031, persons appointed to a peace officer class shall undergo a medical examination to determine that he or she can perform the essential functions of the job safely and effectively.

Drug Testing Requirement: Applicants for positions in this class are required to pass a drug-screening test. (The drug-screening test will be waived for employees who are currently in a designated "sensitive" class for which drug testing is required under State Personnel Board Rule 213.)

Training Requirements: Under provisions of Penal Code Section 832, successful completion of a training course in laws of arrest, search and seizure, and in firearms and chemical agents is a requirement for permanent status in this classification.

  Updated: 12/20/2018
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