Correctional Officer Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

A Correctional Officer, or Prison Guard, is responsible for enforcing the rules and maintaining routines at a jail, prison or another correctional facility. Their duties include inspecting jail cells according to security protocols and safety codes, supervising inmates during meals and recreational time and diffusing conflicts between inmates to help preserve peace and order.

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Correctional Officer duties and responsibilities

The important responsibilities of a Correctional Officer include maintaining a consistent routine and demeanor, because in corrections, security and control are vital. Some of the daily duties include:

  • Regular head counts of inmates within a section
  • Monitor inmate behavior and report unusual activity to ensure safety and security
  • Escort inmates to job sites, medical facilities, classrooms or wherever they are needed in a timely, secure manner
  • Assist other Correctional Officers with management of inmates
  • Conduct regular searches of inmate areas like cells, recreation rooms and showers for unauthorized items
  • Manage confrontational situations as they arise to maintain security
  • Write regular reports of activities

Correctional Officer Job Description Examples:

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Correctional Officer

This is a Statewide advertisement.- When Applying YOU Will GET Your Chance TO Select Your Preferred Location

No prior experience is necessary, all training is provided.

Correctional Officers are responsible for the supervision, care, custody, control and physical restraint, when necessary, of inmates in a Correctional Institution or facility.

Compensation:

  • Non-Certified rate of pay is $1,159.63 Bi-weekly. ($30,150.38 Annually)

  • Certified rate of pay is $1,288.47 Bi-weekly. ($33,500.22 Annually)

  • Qualifications:

  • Be at least 18 years of age (no maximum age restriction)

  • Be a United States Citizen

  • Possess a high school diploma or equivalent

  • Possess a valid driver’s license

  • Pass a drug test and physical examination

  • Pass a background investigation and fingerprinting, which includes; no felony convictions; no misdemeanor involving perjury or false statement; no misdemeanor conviction of domestic violence.

  • Must demonstrate good moral character as determined by a thorough background investigation.

    Benefits:

  • Paid vacation, sick leave and holidays

  • Comprehensive health insurance and life insurance with accidental death and dismemberment benefits

  • Supplemental Dental, Vision, Life, Disability and Hospitalization insurance

  • Tuition-Free college courses

  • 457 Tax Deferred Retirement Plan

    Correctional Officers may also qualify for additional benefits:

  • "Special Risk" Retirement benefits

  • Criminal Justice Incentive Pay up to $1,560.00 annually ($130.00 per month)

  • Annual uniform and shoe allowance of $325.00

  • Annual salary additive of approximately $1,200 when employed in Indian River, Martin, Okeechobee, or St. Lucie counties

  • Annual salary additive of approximately $2,500 when employed in Palm Beach, Broward, Dade or Monroe counties.

    Below are the next steps to becoming a Correctional Officer:

  • Step 1 - Apply in the People First system. [website]

  • Step 2 - Submit a FDC Correctional Officer Supplemental Application and Willingness Questionnaire, DC2-854. (You will be emailed this form the next business day after the online application is submitted.)

  • Step 3 - FDC Recruitment Center will begin the process of conducting a Background Screening.

    Note: Consideration as a correctional officer applicant begins upon completion of step 1 and 2.

    Please visit [website] for additional information about working for the Florida Department of Corrections.

    Job Type: Full-time

    Salary: $30,150.38 /year

    Education:

  • High school or equivalent (Required)

    License:

  • FL (Required)

    Additional Compensation:

  • Bonuses

  • Other forms

    Benefits:

  • Health insurance

  • Dental insurance

  • Vision insurance

  • Retirement plan

  • Signing bonus

  • Paid time off

  • Professional development assistance

  • Tuition reimbursement

    This Job Is Ideal for Someone Who Is:

  • Dependable -- more reliable than spontaneous

  • Adaptable/flexible -- enjoys doing work that requires frequent shifts in direction

  • Achievement-oriented -- enjoys taking on challenges, even if they might fail

  • High stress tolerance -- thrives in a high-pressure environment

    Schedule:

  • Weekends required

  • Holidays required

  • Day shift

  • Night shift

  • Overtime

  • 8 hour shift

  • 10 hour shift

  • 12 hour shift

  • Overnight No
  • ×

    Correctional Officer

    NEW Higher Starting Salary!

    Apply NOW . . . Start Immediately!!

    The Arizona Department of Corrections, Rehabilitation & Reentry has 350 Correctional Officer positions available at select locations statewide! If you are at least 18 years old, a [website] Citizen, GED or high school diploma, valid driver’s license and no felony convictions, we have a great career for you!

    You can start working immediately! To Apply, go to our website at [website] or call us at 1-888-545-Rush (7874) Monday-Friday 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM. If attaching a resume, please include a current contact email and phone number.

    The Arizona Department of Corrections benefits include:

  • Paid Training

  • Starting Salary $36,207 to $41,638 (depending on location after graduation)

  • Great Advancement Opportunities

  • Health & Dental Insurance

  • Vacation & Sick Time Pay

  • Holiday Pay

  • Job Security & Stability

  • Education/Tuition Reimbursement

  • Retirement Plan

    Job Type: $36,207.00 to $41,638.00 Driver's License (Required)

  • ×

    Correctional Officer

    Correctional Officers are responsible for the supervision, care, custody, control and physical restraint, when necessary, of inmates in a Correctional Institution or facility.

    Under the direction of Secretary, Mark Inch, the Florida Department of Corrections (FDC) is the 3rd largest state prison system in the country with a budget of 2.4 billion, approximately 97,000 inmates incarcerated and another 167,000 offenders on active community supervision. The DC has 151 facilities and more than 24,000 staff members statewide, making it the State’s largest agency.

    Compensation:

  • Certified rate of pay is $1,288.47 Bi-weekly. ($33,500.22 Annually)

  • Non-Certified rate of pay is $1,159.63
  • Bi-weekly. ($30,150.38 Annually)

    Qualifications:

  • Be at least 18 years of age (no maximum age restriction)

  • Be a United States Citizen

  • Possess a high school diploma or equivalent

  • Possess a valid driver’s license

  • Pass a drug test and physical examination

  • Pass a background investigation and fingerprinting, which includes; no felony convictions; no misdemeanor involving perjury or false statement; no misdemeanor conviction of domestic violence.

  • Must demonstrate good moral character as determined by a thorough background investigation.

    Benefits:

  • Paid vacation, sick leave and holidays

  • Comprehensive health insurance
  • and life insurance with accidental death and dismemberment benefits

  • Supplemental Dental, Vision, Life, Disability and Hospitalization insurance

  • Tuition-Free college courses

  • 457 Tax Deferred Retirement Plan

    Correctional Officers

  • may also qualify for additional benefits:

  • "Special Risk" Retirement benefits

  • Criminal Justice Incentive Pay up to $1,560.00 annually ($130.00 per month)

  • Annual uniform and shoe allowance of $325.00

  • Annual salary additive of approximately $1,200 when employed in Indian River, Martin, Okeechobee, or St. Lucie counties

  • Annual salary additive of approximately $2,500 when employed in Palm Beach, Broward, Dade or Monroe counties.“The State of Florida is an Equal Opportunity Employer/Affirmative Action Employer, and does not tolerate discrimination or violence in the workplace.”

    “The State of Florida is an Equal Opportunity Employer/Affirmative Action Employer, and does not tolerate discrimination or violence in the workplace.”

    Job Type: Full-time

    Salary: $14.49 /hour

    Education:

  • High school or equivalent (Required)

    License:

  • Driver's License (Required)

    Work Location:

  • One location

    Benefits:

  • Health insurance

  • Dental insurance

  • Vision insurance

  • Retirement plan

  • Paid time off

  • Parental leave

  • Tuition reimbursement

  • Professional development assistance

    Pay Frequency:

  • Bi weekly or Twice monthly

    Schedule:

  • No
  • 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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    Frequently asked questions about Correctional Officers

     

    What qualities make a good Correctional Officer?

    Working as a Correctional Officer is an extremely stressful job, so good Correctional Officers are excellent at stress-management and staying calm under pressure. They are highly organized and authoritative with the ability to communicate clearly with others, even if they are distressed or angry. Good Correctional Officers remain calm in stressful situations and are able to appropriately use peer-to-peer conversations and humor to eliminate tension. They are very perceptive and pick up on social cues and inmate mannerisms to direct them to the help they need before a serious situation occurs.

     

    What is the difference between a Correctional Officer and a Detention Officer?

    While some institutions use the titles of Correctional Officer and Detention Officer interchangeably, they can indicate a different set of responsibilities. Correctional Officers are generally in charge of supervising inmates in larger facilities such as state or federal prisons. They work with people who have been convicted of a crime and focus on maintaining order in their housing quarters. Detention Officers work at small institutions such as county jails and supervise people who are still awaiting trial. Detention Officers accompany people to their court hearings, process intake forms and supervise visitation.

     

    Who does a Correctional Officer report to?

    Correctional Officers report directly to a Senior Correctional Officer who has extensive experience at a particular facility. All ranks of Correctional Officers report to an institution’s Warden, who oversees all of the operations at their facility. The Warden delegates tasks to Senior Correctional Officers who keep their team updated on best practices and create schedules. Correctional Officers have to meticulously record their behavior and provide updates to their ranking officer at the end of each shift.

     

    What should you look for on a Correctional Officer's resume?

    A Correctional Officer’s resume should emphasize the candidate’s ability to manage other people and respond to emergency situations. Experience in criminal justice, social services and security can easily transfer to a Correctional Officer position. Certifications in first aid, crisis management and self-defense can indicate a highly experienced candidate who would excel in a Correctional Officer role. The skills section of their resume should emphasize discipline, initiative and integrity to indicate they are trustworthy enough to be in a position of authority over inmates.

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