Corrections Officer

What does a corrections officer do?

A corrections officer ensures the safety and welfare of prisoners by acting as the voice of authority within local jails, state prisons and federal penitentiaries. Each day, corrections officers are asked to resolve and stop violent confrontations and provide order in the facility.

How do you become a corrections officer?

Federal vs state and local facilities have different requirements.

Federal requirements:

  • Be a U.S. citizen.
  • Have a bachelor's degree or three years of experience in teaching, counseling, management, emergency response or sales.
  • Have no disqualifying criminal convictions.
  • Sound financial history.
  • Be between the ages of 20 and 37.

State and local:

  • Be a United States citizen.
  • Be at least 18, and in some states 21.
  • Have either a high school diploma or a GED.
  • Have no disqualifying criminal convictions.
  • A valid driver's license.
  • Be physically and mentally capable of doing the job.

Once a candidate has met all the requirements listed above, they can begin to look for a job as a corrections officer. Depending on the state some jobs will hire a candidate then send them to training prior to their start date, other require the training prior to applying for the job.

Through a candidate's training they will learn effective and safe ways to defuse situations and how best to respond to any give circumstance that may present itself in the facilities. This includes fitness training, firearms training and basic legal training.

Once the candidate has passed their training requirements, they can be sworn in under an oath of office. The oath asks candidates to uphold the responsibility of a corrections officer.

If a career as a corrections officer interests you, learn more about Goodwin University's Public Safety and Security program.

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