Austin McGuire

Austin McGuire
Major/Job Title:
Juvenile Court Officer for the Judicial Branch

Austin McGuire

Bachelor of Arts in Criminology and Sociology – University of Northern Iowa (2015)
Masters of Public Policy – University of Northern Iowa (currently enrolled)

What do you do in your current position?
In my current position I supervise juvenile delinquents that come under the purview of the Juvenile Court System. This supervision would include case supervision of juveniles who are in the community setting on probation and also supervising juveniles who are court-ordered in a placement setting. I also make decisions regarding how law enforcement referrals are handled during our intake process. Lastly, I write reports to the Judge in regards to disposition of cases, progress reports on supervision, recommendations regarding waiver/transfer hearings, and recommendations on when I feel a case should be dismissed.

I really enjoy being able to work with juveniles and their families. Furthermore, I have been able to develop positive professional relationships with court staff, attorneys, law enforcement, school officials and service providers, which I really enjoy. I also really enjoy that every day is something different and I have a lot of autonomy in my position.

How did your major help prepare you? 
Both my Criminology and Sociology majors helped prepare my for my current role by providing both abstract and hands-on learning in the classroom that directly related to the fields of juvenile justice and community probation

Most memorable part of your studies?
I think the most memorable part of my studies was taking classes with Dr. Bartollas who is a legend in the criminology field. I took four courses with Dr. Bartollas and learned a lot about the criminal and juvenile justice fields as well as a thing or two about myself. Furthermore, the papers he had us write helped me hone my writing skills, which are an important part of my career now.

What advice would you give future panthers?
I would say that it is very important to be getting some field experience while in college. There are many faculty and opportunities at UNI to help you get your foot in the door through internships, job shadowing or recommendations for entry-level positions. Since many positions in both the criminology and sociology fields require experience as well as a bachelor’s degree; I would highly recommend getting experience as soon as possible.

Enjoy your time at UNI. It is easy to just focus on when your next assignment is due or when you get to graduate but try to also slow down and appreciate all of the great things about UNI while it is happening.