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Correctional Officer and How to Get Correctional Officer Jobs

Sep 2, 2008
Correctional officers have one of the toughest jobs in the world. It's hazardous and very stressful. Every year there are attacks on correctional officers and maintaining those convicted of violent crimes is not an easy task.

A correctional officer is not like a probation officer. A PO will work with a person who has been released from prison and needs help integrating back into society. A correctional officer is responsible for prisoner transport, keeping order in a jail or prison and for maintaining procedures set forth by the correctional facility.

What skills are needed to become a corrections officer?

Corrections officers learn most of what they need to know through on-the-job-training. An education of at least a high school diploma is required, some college may be a qualification, and it varies with each agency. Some experience is recommended, such as law enforcement or having a military background may be substituted for an education.

The American Correctional Association and the American Jail Association establish what type of training is needed based on the correctional facility. Academy trainees will undergo many hours, at least 200, of training for firearms and self-defense just within their first year of work. Specialized training in tactical procedures, riot and hostage situations are also part of their ongoing training. At least120 hours is required by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Prisons residential training center in Glynco, GA. They will work under supervision of an experienced correctional officer for weeks or months before becoming independent.

What are some of the tasks a corrections officer does?

A CO is responsible for keeping order in a controlled manner. Prisons are full of those who dislike order and it's up to the correctional officer to maintain an environment where inmates are kept safe and disturbances are kept to a minimum.

Those who work in maximum security prisons are trained to search cells for contraband or illegal drugs. They may confine prisoners to solitary and monitor them on closed circuit television.

A correction officer who works in a minimum security facility will monitor prisoners who are on a work rehabilitation program. It depends on the type of environment as to which tasks are performed. Correctional officers typically work 5 days a week with 8 hour shifts. Since monitoring prison activity is a 24 hour process, some officers work weekends and even holidays.

Is there a demand for this profession?

Yes, corrections officers process and oversee about 12 million people a year. The demand is growing as prisoners are released; paroled and new inmates are being transferred between facilities. There is a lot of hostility in prisons due to over crowding and violent inmates are often gang members. The demand for those who want to help keep our society safe from such persons creates a position in which non lethal force and tactical training becomes a must.

Correctional officers tend to make between $28,000 and $46,000. Those who seek advancement can become a correctional sergeant or even become a warden. It's a tough job, and somebody has to do it. If this sounds like a career path you'd like to take, then you need to do further reading on it on the internet. You can do so by visiting websites which cover the profession in more detail.

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About the Author
Copywrite Kenneth Echie. Kenneth is a writer for Criminal Justice Schools and Degrees. Get free scholarship report and learn to become a Correctional Officer by visiting. Affiliated website: Extra Income Ideas
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