US District Court

Fayetteville , AR

U.S. Proabation Officer (Presentence)

US District Court
Fayetteville, AR Full-time
Posted on June 9, 2019

U.S. Probation Officer



The United States Probation & Pretrial Services Office for the Western District of Arkansas is accepting applications for the position of United States Probation Officer (Presentence Investigation). The Western District of Arkansas is a combined district that encompasses 34 counties and six court divisions. Our district serves three district court judges, four magistrate judges, and one senior district judge. We have divisional offices located in Fort Smith, Fayetteville, Hot Springs, El Dorado, and Texarkana. Frequent travel within the district is required as is some out of district travel.


Conducts investigations and prepares reports for the court with recommendations, which requires interviewing offenders 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.

• Presents presentence report and sentencing recommendations to the court. Response to judicial officer’s request for information and advice.

• Tracks legal developments and updates staff and the court. Testifies in court as to the basis for factual findings and (if warranted) guidelines applications. Serves as a resource to the court. Maintains detailed written records of case activity.

• Analyzes and responds to any objections to the presentence report. This may include resolving disputed issues and presenting unresolved issues to the court for resolution.

• Investigates and analyzes financial documents and activities and takes appropriate action. Interviews victims and provides victim impact statements to the court. Ensures compliance with Mandatory Victims Restitution Act.


Completion of a Juris Doctor (JD) and 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, or business or public administration, which provides evidence of the capacity to understand and apply the legal requirements and human relations skills involved in the position.


Experience in such fields as probation, pretrial services, parole, corrections, criminal investigations, substance use/addiction treatment or the practice of law is required. Experience as a police officer, custodial, or security officer, other than any criminal investigative experience, is not creditable.


Excellent written and oral communication, proofing, and grammatical skills. Superior attention to detail.

• Ability to interact and communicate effectively (orally and in writing) with individuals of diverse backgrounds including criminal defendants, law enforcement personnel, judicial personnel, and attorneys.


Ability to exercise impartiality, objectivity, fairness and discretion with the defendant population and their family/support system.

• Possess excellent organizational and problem-solving skills and be able to prioritize work schedules, work independently with minimal supervision, and work under pressure with short deadlines while maintaining a positive and professional demeanor.

• Ability to exercise discretion, maintain confidentiality, foster high ethical standards, and demonstrate integrity in meeting the district’s vision, mission, and goals.

• Desire to contribute to a positive work environment and work harmoniously with others.


Member of the Bar of a state, territory, or federal court of general jurisdiction in good standing is preferred.

• Knowledge of federal law and the criminal justice system and how it relates to the roles and functions of a U.S. Probation Officer.

• Understanding of the federal sentencing statutes and U.S. Sentencing Guidelines.

• Skill in conducting legal research related to complex and difficult legal issues.

• Skill in analyzing and summarizing legal concepts and issues.


A high-sensitive background investigation with law enforcement agencies, including fingerprint and criminal record checks, will be conducted as a condition of employment. Any applicant selected for a position will be hired provisionally pending successful completion of the background investigation. Unsatisfactory results may result in termination of employment. The selected candidate will be subject to updated background investigations every five years.


Prior to appointment, the selectee considered for this position is required to undergo an extensive 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. In addition, as a condition of employment, the incumbent will be subject to ongoing random drug screening, and as deemed necessary by management for reasonable cause, may be subject to subsequent fitness-for-duty evaluations. The medical requirements for law enforcement officers are available for public review at


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 37 or over who have previous law enforcement officer experience under 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 experience subtracted from their age to determine whether they meet the maximum age requirement.


Newly appointed officers will be required to attend and successfully complete a six (6) week training course at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) in Charleston, South Carolina.


Full-time employees are eligible for a full range of benefits such as paid vacation and sick leave, paid holidays, retirement benefits that include a defined contribution program and the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP). TSP is a 401(k) equivalent program that includes matching contributions. Additional benefits include health and life insurance, disability and long-term care insurance, dental and vision insurance and a Flexible Benefits Program which includes medical and dependent care reimbursement. Additional benefit information is available at


Qualified applicants should submit a complete packet which includes: (1) a letter of interest, (2) an 800 word or less essay answering the following question: How did the Supreme Court’s United States v. Booker 543 U.S. 220 (2005) decision affect federal sentencing? (3) a current and detailed resume, (3) name, address, and telephone number of three professional references, (4) copy of transcripts for bachelor’s degree and any advanced degree, and (5) a completed Application for Judicial Branch Federal Employment (Form AO‐78). You may download this form from our website Date of birth and undergraduate GPA must be reported on the application form. Incomplete packets will not be considered. Applicant materials submitted in addition to the required documents will not be considered or retained. Attachments must be saved as a single PDF file. Please reference the vacancy announcement number in the subject of the email. Email your complete packet to:


Only qualified applicants will be considered for this position. Applicants must be United States citizens or eligible to work in the United States. Due to the volume of applications received, only candidates considered for an interview will be contacted. Applicants selected for interviews must travel at their own expense. A preliminary criminal history background check, verification of employment and education, and reference checks will be made prior to any offer of employment.

The selected applicant’s employment is contingent upon a commitment to remain employed as a USPO in the Western District of Arkansas for a minimum of three (3) years.

Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT) for payroll deposit is required.

The U.S. Probation Office reserves the right to modify the conditions or withdraw this vacancy announcement or fill the position at any time before the closing date, any of which may occur without prior notice. Multiple vacancies may be filled from this announcement. If a subsequent vacancy of the same position and location becomes available within a reasonable time of the original announcement, the Chief U.S. Probation Officer may elect to select a candidate from the original qualified applicant pool.

The court provides reasonable accommodations to applicants with disabilities in accordance with the American with Disabilities Act. If you need a reasonable accommodation, please notify human resources at The decision on granting reasonable accommodations will be made on a case-by-case basis.

The United States Probation Office for the Western District of Arkansas is an

Equal Employment Opportunity Employer and values diversity in the workplace.

Applicants may view the district’s Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) and

Employment Dispute Resolution (EDR) Plan on our website at