Top corrections officer skills needed to get the job.

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What are the top 3 traits or skills every corrections officer must have to excel?

Can you suggest any tips or insights to develop your corrections officer expertise?

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Curt in Altoona, Pennsylvania

124 months ago

Must possess the ability to count, write, walk, talk, tie your shoes, correctly wear a tie...etc..

OK a lil bit of truth...Being a CO is easy if you are cut out for it. How do you know?? Well you won't until you step inside the walls and take charge. Those who are highly motivated, rough/tough, and large don't have any greater chances of succeeding as those who are a lil softer, lil less rough, and small. I'm only 5'7" :)!! Anyway, as far as skills...I'm not joking about COUNTING and WRITING. If you show up to work on time, you can count, you can record your count, and no one escapes on your watch then your good to go. Oh and don't judge! ;)

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blue2602001@*****.*** in Dalton, Georgia

116 months ago

Im already in the food industry for a jail how do i chnge my profesion ive already been through all the test to work in this establishment but is their a entry level to work your way up

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Matthew1 in Indianapolis, Indiana

38 months ago

JP in East Meadow, New York said: As a twenty year veteran and personnel trainer let me say that the top three traits every CO must have is:
1- High level of interpersonal skills with a diverse population
2- (3) R's, Reading (rules & regulations) Riting (reports) Rithmetic (count)
3- High level of patience and tolerance

You spelled "Riting" wrong. It is spelled WRITING. Also, you mean ARITHMETIC... Just saying. I totally agree with everything else though.

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oshua in Raleigh, North Carolina

33 months ago

Matthew1 in Indianapolis, Indiana said: You spelled "Riting" wrong. It is spelled WRITING. Also, you mean ARITHMETIC... Just saying. I totally agree with everything else though.

I've been working as an officer for 10 years and if you take your job seriously, knowing how to solve problems is a skill that many officers need to possess. inmates create tons of problems in the prison environment.

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ra in Los Lunas, New Mexico

24 months ago

3 words firm,fair and consistent you maintain these 3 traits and never back down from them youll work out youll find most issues aren't from the inmates but from the administration

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the42cop in Washington

18 months ago

Getting hired in (state) corrections is fairly easy compared to a lot of other jobs in the criminal justice field. That doesn't mean the job is easy. As someone who has worked corrections and law enforcement, I can assure it is a very difficult career field. There are lots of things you can do to make it more likely to be hired. I cover much of that on my blog. Once you are hired however there is there are three main things you need to be successful.

1. Integrity. You don't have to be a rocket scientist (though it DOES really help to be able to write well), but you do need to be able to do the right thing even if nobody is looking. All law enforcement careers are aberrations from "regular" jobs because you don't just get in trouble or fired when you screw up... You can actually go to jail. It is critical to be honest and keep yourself out of trouble or the inmates will soon have you committing all sorts of policy violations and even crimes.

2. Communication. You have to be able to talk to people. Unfortunately it's not always the same as being able to talk to regular people. Read books on communication. I recommend "How to win friends and influence people." If nothing else it will help with your coworkers. Also check out the infamous yellow book called "Games Criminals Play." It is required reading in many academies.

3. Defensive Tactics. Working in corrections will really help with those communication skills and in theory you would like to be able to talk your way out of anything. In reality, sometimes there is nothing you can do and you need to go hands on. The Academy (and yearly in-service) doesn't begin to give you the skills necessary. I wrote an entire article with much more detail on why you need to do this. It's too long to cut and paste here.

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