Correctional officers are the guards present in the prisons who guides the local, state, and federal inmates about the rules and regulations in the prisons. They even listen to the problems related to the prisoners and try to solve them.
They perform several duties and responsibilities in prison. Correctional officer job description includes accompanying the inmates to dining rooms, hospitals, chapels, work areas, etc. They act as guards during functions and other recreational activities to avoid any kind of nuisance and disturbances. They also perform the duties of patrolling prison buildings, checking locks, bars, windows, etc so that the prisoners can’t escape away.
Not only this but they also escort the prisoners outside the prison also, like in taking them to community prayers, trips, etc. They even keep an eye on prisoners who are sent for their trials in the courts. The correctional officers are fully trained in handling arms like guns, handcuffs, and other related types of equipment. They even provide written reports of the work performed by the prisoners. They check both the quality and quantity of work done by them.
Qualification and Skills Required
Qualification- The candidate interested to be a correctional officer should have a bachelor’s degree. The federal agency prefers candidates with a degree. Age also matters a lot in this field. The minimum age criterion is eighteen years while the maximum is twenty-one years. The correctional officers should also have a diploma in counseling and supervision of individuals.
Besides this they are also required to clear a written taste followed by psychological test and interview for the past of correctional officer.
Training Requirement- Regarding the training program the correctional officers have to undergo a one to six months training depending on the size and number of prisoners in the prison. During this training period they are taught various courses on principles, practices, terminology and rules of correctional methods. They are also provided training on personal defense, use of guns, rifle skills etc. Certificates are also provided to the candidates on completion of different levels required to be a correctional officer. The job as a correctional officer is stressful at times as they have to work in eight to ten hours of shift but still they are trained in such a way that they can overcome this stress. They even work on weekends and holidays during the emergencies.
Skills required by the correctional officers:
General skills required- The correctional officers also known as jailers or prison officers need strong interpersonal and communication skills. Besides this they should also have certain other important skills like:-
- They should be nondiscriminatory and fair in their work i.e they should treat all the inmates equally.
- They should be good arbitrator’s so that they can easily resolve the issues related to the inmates
- They should be completely focused while talking to the prisoners.
- They should have a high degree of self-resistant power. They should have the power to control their anger.
- They should have the skills of mentioning all the rules and regulations very clearly to the inmates in a concise manner
- The correctional officers should have the skills of working in teams because many a times they have to work with other team members.
- They should be friendly and pleasant. They should maintain good relations with the other officers in the prison as well as with the inmates.
- They should be fair-minded in their approach. They should not tolerate any kind of misbehavior from the inmates.
- They should be attentive towards the needs of the officers and the inmates.
- They should be alert in identifying the health issues of the inmates.
With continuous experience, education and training a correctional officer will advance to high ranks in their careers. With their increased ranks their salary will also be increased. If we talk about bigger prisons then there, individuals can start their career as a correctional officer and can go to the post of deputy keepers.
If we talk about the employment history of the correctional officers then according to the U.S statistics there job opportunities are very good by 2014. The positions for the correctional officers will increase as more and more prisons are built as the numbers of prisoners are increasing.