Everywhere I have looked requires a 4 year degree with preferences for majors in Human Services, Psychology, Sociology, Social Work, Counseling, or closely related field. Without these degrees, employeeing agencies would like to see that you at least had a good amount of credit hours in these fields while in school. Work Experience is important as well.
Your looking at 4 weeks of basic traning if in NC for Juvenile Justice Officers and Juvenile Court Counselors. Topics cover juvenile law, counseling techinques, CPR/First Aid, How to Maintain Documentation, Defensive Tactics and Restraint Techinques. Gang Awareness, ect.
Must have 40 hours of In service training every year to maintain certification for your position. (Must maintain current CPR/First Aid certification, RCDT Certification (self-defense, restraints, other trainings as needed)
Work experience should be in the Human Services Field. Try to get some experience with at risk youth, even if it is volunteer work. Working with regular kids helps as well. I got my start working with kids at summer camps, worked as a youth pastor for a year and did a year of Americorp with at risk youth. Eventually, this led to me working in a YDC (Training school), became a staff trainer and got a promotion, got 8 years in juvenile justice. I've had a few interviews for JPO positions and been a finalist several times. Still looking for that job offer as a JPO.