Well once you set your mind on becoming a correctional officer the obvious first question is, where do I begin? There can be so many different paths for you to begin your journey in the field of Corrections but following the below steps can lead you in the right direction.
Before anything else it’s important to understand what a correctional officer is and what are the related duties and requirements. The major role of a correctional officer is to maintain safety, security, and inmate accountability in order to avert any and all conflicts and violence. Prison Guards are the men and women accountable for securing individuals that have been detained, arrested or who’ve been convicted of a crime and sentenced to serve time in a detention facility.
Now that you know a little bit about what the job involves, it’s important to know where you would like to be employed as a detention attendant, whether it’s at the federal, state, or local level. Jobs in corrections can be found in all 50 of the United States in both the public and private sector and are a great way to gain stable employment and job security. For most people, you’ll most likely want to become employed closer to home.
Next you will need to understand the basic requirements for prison guard jobs. Be aware that the requirements vary from state to state but for the most part involve age, education, physical ability & agility assessments, and medical & background checks. In some locations you will also be required to complete some form of written exam or testing.
Most entry-level position require nothing more than a High School diploma or educational equivalent such as a GED. If you’re coming from a position unrelated to the law enforcement field and think you need some further “on-the-job training” then maybe you should look into signing on as an apprentice.
Essentially this means that you’ll be hired under the guidance of someone in a supervisory position, in most cases a training officer, in which you can gain needed experience. Usually the various correctional officer apprentice programs run for a predetermined period of time that once completed the prospective corrections officer could then be promoted to a lower level beginner position. For the most part, apprentice program are similar to what most states categorize as correctional officer trainees.
Finally, please consider viewing the website of your State or County’s department of corrections or corrections recruitment website for further associated information. They can provide information on the hiring and application process that can get started in the right direction, but in most cases you have to wade through page after page to obtain the information that you are looking for, but there is an easier way.