Alaska Corrections Officer Job Description

Alaska’s correctional officers work in one of the fastest growing fields in law enforcement in a state that offers some of the highest salaries in the field. The most recent reports show the average annual salary for correctional officers and jailers in Alaska was $57,640. Correctional officers complete an extensive training program after having successfully navigated a highly-selective application process. The Alaska Department of Corrections only chooses the most qualified officers to work in the state’s 13 correctional facilities.

Meeting the Minimum Requirements

The State of Alaska requires its correctional officers to meet certain basic requirements before being hired. These include:

  • Being a U.S. citizen or having the demonstrated intent to become one
  • At least 21 years old with a good moral character and a high school diploma or GED
  • Able to pass a medical examination including a drug test
  • Pass a psychological evaluation
  • Not having:
    • Felony or domestic violence convictions
    • More than two DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) convictions in the past 10 years
    • Used, transported, or produced illegal drugs other than marijuana since being 21 years of age, or in the past 10 years

Application Packet

Applications may only be made for correctional officer jobs when there is a posted announcement. Candidates will need to complete a State Application, an F3C Personal History Statement, and a job qualification summary, turning these documents in to the Division of Personnel Office in Juneau by the closing date as indicated on the job announcement. Applications may be made by mail or online by creating an Applicant Profile. Vacant corrections positions are posted on the State’s employment website and in local advertising and news sources.

Basic Training Academy

Newly hired correctional officers must be issued a Correctional Officer Certificate by the Alaska Police Standards Council within their first year of employment. To obtain this certification, officers will need to graduate from the Basic Correctional Officer Academy, a six-week program held in Palmer with hotel lodging provided for residents commuting from outside the Palmer-Anchorage area.

Candidates should be aware that as part of their training they will be shocked by an Electronic Immobilization Device and sprayed with oleoresin capsicum, also known as pepper spray. The more enjoyable parts of training include instruction in how to become a qualified officer in areas such as:

  • Department policies and civil law
  • Firearms training including shotguns
  • First aid, CPR, and officer survival
  • Non-lethal force and prisoner restraint

What to Expect

Correctional officers receive training that prepares them for worst case scenarios, but that also hones the skills needed for everyday experience. By the time they graduate from the training academy, officers will be able to:

  • Inspect units, buildings, yards, as well as prisoners and their property
  • Observe prisoners directly in person, through their cell, and via closed-circuit cameras for any abnormal or suspicious activity
  • Provide security and escort for visitors
  • Know and comply with all facility procedures for their own safety and the benefit of inmates

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