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For more than a century, juvenile justice proponents have had a difficult time precisely defining the proper role of the juvenile probation officer while simultaneously stressing that the juvenile probation department is the “workhorse” of the entire system. Existing literature largely focuses on which aspects of policing and social work these officers should embody while ignoring the foundational moorings in state statutes. This Article offers both a historical account of the rise of the juvenile probation officer and a thorough analysis of each state’s laws regarding peace officer status, employing authority, the power of arrest, and the power to carry firearms on duty. In this transformative time for the juvenile justice system, reformers must contemplate the proper role of statutory authority in realigning the scope of juvenile probation officers and their duties.

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2023 Mich. St. L. Rev. 613.