United States Probation and Pretrial Services Officer (Presentence)

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Job Specifications
Classification Level: 
CL 25 to CL 28, Depending on Experience
Salary Range: 
$58,100 - $131,489
Los Angeles
Closing Date: 
Open Until Filled
Vacancy Number: 
Job Type: 
Full Time
Position Overview: 

The United States Probation and Pretrial Services Office Central District of California is a part of the United States District Courts and the Federal Judiciary. The Probation and Pretrial Office is responsible for investigating, supervising, referring for treatment, and providing reports on federal defendants and offenders. The district is comprised of the main office in downtown Los Angeles and 10 branch offices located throughout Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, and Ventura counties.

The United States Probation and Pretrial Services Office is looking for professionals interested in working within the court system to conduct presentence investigations through interviews and research, and prepare thorough, objective reports for the court. The presentence report contains information about the offense, the defendant, the impact on the victim, and the ability to pay fines or restitution.  The report relies on applicable statutes and sentencing options, taking into consideration the federal sentencing guidelines. The officer’s ultimate recommendation and justification assist the court in imposing a fair sentence that satisfies the punishment, deterrence, and corrective goals of sentencing. The U.S. Probation and Pretrial Services Office reserves the right to transfer and/or reclassify this position based on future agency needs.

Representative Responsibilities: 
  • Conduct presentence investigations and prepare presentence reports for the court with recommendations, which requires interviewing defendants and their families, conducting home inspections and collecting and verifying background data from various sources.
  • Perform thorough and independent investigations of the offenses, offense conduct, and victim impact by using appropriate investigative skills and relying on verified information sources.
  • Seek input from the parties, attorneys, case agents, and other sources to obtain information and evidence associated with each case.
  • Obtain and analyze criminal history information and acquire specific details and documents needed to assess an offender’s criminal record for consideration at sentencing.
  • Interpret and apply policies and procedures, statutes, Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, and relevant case law. Demonstrate thorough knowledge of these sources through accurate calculations and correct selection of sentencing options in the presentence report, the addendum, and/or the recommendation letter.
  • Investigate employment, sources of income, lifestyle, and associates of defendants to assess and identify mitigating and aggravating sentencing factors, risk and likely future compliance under supervision and the need for correctional treatment, monitoring and counseling.
  • Investigate and analyze financial documents and activities to determine a defendant’s ability to pay a fine and/or restitution. Interview victim(s) and provide victim impact statements to the court.
  • Prepare accurately written, cohesive and thorough sentencing recommendations, including conditions of supervision, with well-reasoned analysis that incorporates the factors listed in 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a).
  • Analyze and respond to any objections. This may include resolving disputed issues and presenting unresolved issues to the court for resolution.
  • Work independently, managing workload considering deadlines and multiple priorities.
  • Track critical dates, monitor sentencing continuances, and present completed reports pursuant to assigned due dates or applicable deadlines.
  • Possess knowledge of, and comply with, the Code of Conduct for Judicial Employees, Local Rules (including court confidentiality requirements), and individual judges’ requirements.
  • Complete a mandatory 40 hours annually of work-related training, in addition to safety training.
  • Function both in and out of assigned office as needed, which may include performing remotely/ telecommuting, using telephone, internet, video and other resources to complete work.
  • Perform other duties as directed, including reassignment to other divisions and offices based on needs of the district.

Must be a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident of the United States currently seeking citizenship or intending to become a citizen immediately upon meeting eligibility requirements. Applicant must be under age 37 and in good health/physical condition. BA/BS in Sociology, Social Work, Psychology, Criminal Justice or related field desired. Master's degree or law degree preferred but not mandatory. Minimum 2+ years case management experience preferred. Experience with evidenced-based practices a plus. Additional course work or experience in accounting or any other financial related field would be a plus in dealing with white-collar defendants and offenders. This position is considered a federal law enforcement position with hazardous duty, which will require irregular work hours, including early morning, nights, weekends and holidays. The Probation and Pretrial Office reserves the right to transfer and/or reclassify this position based on future agency needs.


Federal employees will have a wide variety of medical plans from which to choose. Options for dental, vision, life insurance, long-term disability insurance, long-term care insurance and flexible spending accounts.  Participation in the Federal Employees Retirement System-Further Revised Annuity Employee (FERS-FRAE) with enhanced law enforcement officer benefits. Up to 5% matching on retirement savings (401k equivalent). Generous accrual of paid time off and 11 federal holidays.

Information for Applicants: 


Successful applicants must undergo a full background investigation by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. 

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 by the court. The medical requirements and essential job functions derived from the medical guidelines for probation officers are available for public review at U.S. Probation and Pretrial Services Employment Suitability Requirements.

New officers will attend a four-week training academy at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Academy in South Carolina during the first year of employment.

Incumbent will be subject to ongoing random drug screening, updated background investigations every five years and, as deemed necessary by management for reasonable cause, may be subject to subsequent fitness-for-duty evaluations.

Application Process: 

Qualified applicants will be evaluated to determine those who are best qualified. This determination will be based on a review of the applicant’s relevant experience, education, and training as well as other evaluation procedures. Applications should be submitted to cacp_hr@cacp.uscourts.gov and will need to reference the vacancy number 24-08. Any packets with missing items or without the designation #24-08 will not be reviewed.  This recruitment is for a position considered “high-sensitive.” To determine suitability for the position, applicants must provide criminal history information on the Federal Judicial Branch Application for Employment (AO78). Therefore, all questions requesting criminal history information must be answered even if identified as optional. This requirement also applies to any other employment-related forms when requested. The following documents will need to be included in the application: 

  1. Cover Letter
  2. Resume
  3. College Transcripts
  4. One most recent performance evaluation.
  5. An application for Federal Branch Employment (visit the court’s website at www.cacd.uscourts.gov to download the job application).

Due to the volume of applications received, the Court will only communicate with those individuals who will be interviewed. Applicants scheduled to interview should advise the Human Resources staff if any accommodation will be necessary to interview. Unfortunately, the Court is unable to reimburse applicants for any travel or parking costs.

The Court reserves the right to modify the conditions of this announcement, commence interviews immediately, withdraw the announcement, or fill the position at any time, any of which actions may occur without notice.

The Federal Judiciary is an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer.