What does a Correctional Officer do?
Correctional Officers work closely with inmates in their living quarters to oversee and monitor their daily activities. They can work for governmental institutions or for private prisons. Correctional Officers record the events of each day and make note of any confrontations or other issues. They confiscate contraband and determine when to discipline inmates who break protocol. Correctional Officers can also act as an escort when taking inmates to court hearings, health clinics, classrooms and recreation areas. They distribute supplies and ensure that inmates get proper care and protection from harm while in custody.
Correctional Officer skills and qualifications
A successful Correctional Officer candidate needs these skills and qualifications:
- Good writing skills to create clear reports
- Strong verbal communication skills to interact with inmates and coworkers
- Leadership skills to maintain order and control
- Ability to work 12-hour shifts or longer
- Fluency in English
- Ability to pass a minimum fitness test
- Sound judgment skills to make good decisions in high-stress situations
Correctional Officer Salary Expectations
A Correctional Officer makes an average salary of $37,998 per year. Pay rate may depend on level of experience, education and the geographical location.
Correctional Officer education and training requirements
The minimum educational requirement for a Correctional Officer is a high school diploma or GED. A hiring preference is given to applicants with a military or law enforcement background, a bachelor’s degree in behavioral science or criminal justice or cultural diversity training.
Correctional Officer experience requirements
Typical experience requirements for a Correctional Officer vary. Some join an organization with a high level of experience while others have no direct experience at all. Training is often given to all new officers regardless of prior experience to ensure that a facility is operated according to the standards regulated by the State Department of Corrections.
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