If you’re looking for a career in law enforcement, but not as dangerous as a police officer’s job, then becoming a correctional officer is a career to consider. A correctional officer is someone who works in law enforcement, and they supervise inmates who are locked-up and help in detainment facilities.
Life as a correctional officer
A correctional officer is a person who maintains security at local, state, and federal prisons, and watch over inmates who have been convicted of a crime or inmates who have been arrested and are awaiting trial. A correctional officer’s job is to also help prevent disturbances, assaults, and escapes. They conduct daily inspections in the cells of inmates and other areas of the facility to make sure there are no contraband, fire hazards, or anything else that goes against the prison rules.
Requirements of a correctional officer
To become a correctional officer, there are some minimum requirements that need to be met first. A person applying for a correctional officer job must be a U.S. citizen who has never been convicted of a felony and at least 18 years of age or older. If applying to be a correctional officer at a federal prison, then the applicant cannot be older than 37 years of age. Also, the applicant should have a high school diploma or a GED, and they must be able to pass a variety of very competitive written and physical tests.
If a person is attempting to become a correctional officer for a federal prison or detention center, then they are required to have a bachelor’s degree in a related field such as criminal justice. Some of the courses that they may be required to take would be criminal law, police administration, law enforcement ethics, and other courses that will help prepare a correctional officer for their job.
If a person does not have a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, then they must have at least three years of relevant work experience, which could include teaching, counseling, or supervisory experience.
Training requirements There is a lot of training involved with becoming a corrections officer. Some of the training takes place at training academies and then continues with on-the-job training. For those individuals attempting to become a federal correctional officer, they must complete 200 hours of formal training during their first year on the job. They also have to complete 120 hours of specialised training at the U.S. Federal Bureau of Prisons.