What does a Correctional Officer do?
Correctional officers are responsible for monitoring prisons and jail inmates. Tasks include maintaining security and peace at all times, breaking up disputes, respond to emergencies, and maintaining inmate counts.
They must be aware of their surroundings at all times. In addition officers are required to report any inmate violations in jail or prison rules and regulations.
How to become a Correctional Officer
A correctional officer would need at least a high school diploma or the equivalent to be considered for employment, but some state and local corrections agencies ask for some college credits as well. You will enter a training academy and then receive on-the-job training. Military experience or those with law enforcement backgrounds may be substituted to meet requirements.
Job Description of a Correctional Officer
A correctional officer supervises the inmates at a jail or prison that are awaiting trial, serving sentences or have been arrested. They are charged with enforcing rules and regulations while overseeing the daily activities of inmates.
The officer must be constantly aware of the location of any given inmate at all times and prevent disturbances, escapes or assaults. A correctional officer may use handcuffs or leg irons to transfer inmates from one place to another and make reports of conduct, condition or corrections used for any person. They enforce punishments when necessary and search prisoners for illegal contraband, like, drugs or weapons.
They would search the prison cells and other areas and include searching for any breach in security or other dangers. An officer may aide an inmate with a rehabilitation process by encouraging educational opportunities and counseling.
This occupation carries a higher than average rate of injury and danger due to prison violence and other hazards. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 5 percent growth in 2012-2022 in this career field.