A correctional officer, often known as a Prison Guard in a jail, prison, or any correctional facility, is majorly in charge of enforcing the rules and maintaining procedures.
They are responsible for inspecting jail cells in accordance with security protocols and safety rules, overseeing convicts during meals and leisure time, and resolving inmate problems to assist maintain peace and order.
Hence, if you’d like to apply to be a Correctional Officer or hire one at any correctional facility, it is important you understand what the job description entails.
And that is what makes this article very handy, as we’ve put down the best Correctional Officer Job description templates for you.
These job description templates outline the roles and responsibilities, required skills, and qualifications of a Correctional Officer.
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What is the role of a correctional officer?
The role of a Correctional Officer is enormous. However, his/her core responsibility is the management, supervision, safety, and regulation of inmates.
Below are the roles of a Correctional Officer;
- They are in charge of individuals who have been convicted of a crime and condemned to prison, as well as their care, custody, and control.
- They are also in charge of the facility’s and its property’s security, as well as other law enforcement functions.
- Correctional officers enforce rules and regulations within a prison or jail to prevent any disturbances.
- They monitor inmates’ everyday activities to ensure that they are aware of where all inmates are at all times in order to prevent escapes.
- They also look for weapons or narcotics, resolve conflicts, and enforce rules.
- Correctional Officers can also help offenders with their rehabilitation by assigning jobs, counseling, and educational opportunities.
- They inspect institutions on a regular basis. They look for unsanitary conditions, contraband, indicators of a security breach, such as tampering with window bars or doors, and any other evidence of rule infractions in cells and other locations. Officers also look for illegal things in mail and visitors.
- Correctional Officers make reports or keep daily diaries that detail inmate behavior and anything noteworthy that happens during their shift.
- When fixing a situation, correctional officers must use both their expertise and their common sense to choose the best course of action.
- To maintain order in correctional facilities and courtrooms, they must interact and converse with inmates.
Other roles of a Correctional Officer
To properly accompany detainees to and from cells and other facilities, correctional staff may have to bind them in handcuffs and leg shackles. They also accompany inmates to and from courtrooms, medical centers, and other destinations.
If a crime is committed in their facility or an inmate escapes, they assist law enforcement officials in investigating or tracking down the escapee. Outside of their location of employment, correctional officers have no obligations for law enforcement.
Although some are employed by private organizations that provide jail services to the government, the majority of prison officers or corrections officers are employed by the government of the jurisdiction in which they work.
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What is it like to work as a Correctional Officer?
The government employs the great majority of correctional personnel. Private companies that provide correctional services to prisons and jails employ some of them.
Working in a correctional facility can be demanding and dangerous. Correctional officers sustain injuries in conflicts with inmates on a regular basis, and they have one of the highest rates of nonfatal on-the-job injuries.
Correctional officers can work both inside and outside. The majority of the facilities are well-lit, climate-controlled, and ventilated, but some are ancient, congested, hot, and noisy.
How Much Does a Correctional Officer makes?
Correctional officers and jailers earned a median annual income of $39,040 in May 2012, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Half of the workers in a given occupation earned more than that amount, while the other half earned less. The bottom 10% earned less than $27,000, while the richest 10% made more than $69,610.
When a correctional officer works in a government-run facility, he or she is eligible to participate in benefit programs offered by that level of government.
This normally translates to great health care and retirement benefits for federal and state employees.
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What is the Requirements for Becoming a Correctional Officer?
If you’re thinking about becoming a correctional officer, you should learn about the minimum criteria for the system in which you want to work.
Each state and the Federal Prison System have their own set of job requirements. The federal government and some states have grown exceedingly picky about who they hire. Others have only the most basic necessities.
You can expect the following in practically every jurisdiction:
#1. You must be a citizen of the United States.
Undocumented workers have little chance of finding work in some jurisdictions since they are in the process of applying for citizenship or are otherwise qualified to work in the United States. To be eligible for employment in several state penal systems, you must be a resident of that state.
#2. You must be at least 18 years old, and in some places, 21 years old.
Because this is such a regular practice, some states have removed it from their written fundamental criteria.
Unless the state has a clear policy requiring you to be older, assume the minimum age is 18. You must be between the ages of 20 and 37 to participate in the federal system.
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#3. Either a high school diploma or a GED is required.
This is also not a written requirement in several states. A couple of those states require you to take some post-secondary education, which means you’ll need either a high school diploma or a GED.
Expect to be required to have a diploma or GED unless you have a military background or a prior remarkable employment history.
#4. You must have a “clean” criminal record.
A felony conviction is likely to eliminate your chances, however, some states do allow applicants who have earned pardons or had their records wiped.
Misdemeanors are dealt with in a different way. If the term and/or probationary periods have been completed and all penalties and restitution have been paid, certain jurisdictions will accept candidates with minor offenses.
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#5. Must have a valid driver’s license in majority of states.
Surprisingly, only a handful of them demands that you have a spotless driving record. Some states require you to have no more than two DUIs or DWIs on your record.
#6. You must be physically competent of carrying out your duties.
You will have a physical exam and pass a physical fitness test at some point throughout the recruitment process.
Correctional Officer Job Description Template 1
Below are samples of a job description template for a Correctional officer.
Overview of the Position
Example Co. is the region’s leading firm in our sector. Our Glassdoor rating of 4.0 is something we’re quite proud of.
We’re looking for a seasoned Correctional Officer to join our already excellent staff. Example Co. is an excellent place to advance your career if you’re looking for a new challenge. You’ve been hoping for a chance like this.
Correctional Officer Responsibilities
- Incoming and exiting convicts are booked and processed according to prescribed policies and procedures.
- Report incidents in a detailed and precise manner.
- Patrol the facility’s inside and exterior.
- Conduct a search of the inmates and their cells.
- Examine people and packages brought to the facility.
- Respond to crises in accordance with policies and procedures.
- Oversee activities such as meals, classes, visiting, and recreation for inmates.
- Surveillance cameras are used to keep an eye on the inmates and the surrounding area.
Correctional Officer Qualifications
- Requires a high school diploma or a general education diploma (GED).
- Depending on the state, you must be at least 18 or 21 years old.
- You must have a valid driver’s license.
- 1 year of experience in the corrections industry is preferable.
- Passing a background check, drug test, and physical examination
- Working understanding of the methods and procedures used in the detention of inmates
- Security standards and safety measures are familiar to you.
- Demonstrated ability to behave calmly and rationally in emergency situations.
- Lifting and carrying up to 100 pounds is possible.
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Corrections Officer Job Description Template 2
We’re looking for a dedicated prison officer to supervise and monitor convicts at our facility. You’ll be in charge of upholding the rules and regulations at our facility, as well as supervising inmates in their cells and group areas and escorting visitors.
You’ll need great observational skills to succeed as a corrections officer. Top candidates will be able to act authoritatively while remaining non-aggressive.
Responsibilities of a Corrections Officer:
- To ensure that all jail rules and regulations are followed and enforced.
- Patrolling and inspecting the cells of inmates.
- Mealtimes, restroom breaks, work, and recreational activities are all under my supervision.
- Visitors are screened and escorted through the facilities.
- Assisting with counseling and rehabilitation activities.
- Confrontations should be deescalated as soon as possible.
- Reporting on inmate behavior.
- Inmates and facilities are searched for contraband.
- Incoming and outgoing correspondence to and from inmates is reviewed.
Corrections Officer Requirements
- You must have a high school diploma or its equivalent.
- A background in police enforcement, security, or the military is advantageous.
- Interpersonal skills are strong.
- Physical stamina and strength are important.
- Under pressure, the ability to act calmly and quickly.
- You must possess acute attentiveness and observational abilities.
- Mental toughness is essential.
Correctional Officers: Frequently Asked Questions
Because working as a Correctional Officer is such a tough job, good Correctional Officers excel at stress management and remaining calm under pressure. They are well-organized and commanding, with the capacity to communicate clearly with others even when upset or irritated.
While some organizations use the terms Correctional Officer and Detention Officer interchangeably, they can refer to two distinct roles. In larger facilities, such as state or federal prisons, correctional officers are in charge of managing inmates.
Correctional Officers are directly reported to a Senior Correctional Officer with substantial experience at a specific facility. Correctional Officers of all ranks report to the Warden of a prison, who is in charge of all operations.
The capacity to manage others and respond to emergency situations should be highlighted in a Correctional Officer’s CV. Correctional Officers with prior experience in criminal justice, social services, or security can readily transition to this post.
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