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Connecticut Corrections Officer Job Description

Connecticut is home to the Federal Correctional Institution at Danbury, which is operated by the Federal Bureau of Prisons.  FCI Danbury is a low security facility for female offenders that also has an attached minimum security prison camp.  In 2013, FCI Danbury housed 1,143 inmates and the satellite camp housed 216 inmates.

The Connecticut Department of Corrections, which was formed in 1968, has provided safety, security and order for the 18 correctional facilities located throughout the state. As of 2012, there were 16,591 individuals incarcerated in Connecticut, with 15,523 of those being male and 1,068 being female.

Individuals seeking corrections officer jobs in Connecticut will find that this state provides a wealth of opportunities through its correctional facilities:

  • Bergin Correctional Institution
  • Bridgeport Correction Center,
  • Brooklyn Correctional Institution
  • Cheshire Correctional Institution
  • Corrigan/Radgowski Correction Center
  • Enfield Correctional Institution
  • Garner Correctional Institution
  • Gates Correctional Institution
  • Hartford Correction Center
  • MacDougall-Walker Correctional Institution
  • Manson Youth Institution
  • New Haven Correction Center
  • Niantic Annex
  • Northern Correctional Institution
  • Osborn Correctional Institution
  • Robinson Correctional Institution
  • Webster Correctional Institution
  • Willard-Cybulski Correctional Institution
  • York Correctional Institution

Minimum Requirements for Employment

Federal Correctional Officers

The Federal Bureau of Prisons requires that all correctional officers possess these attributes:

  • Be older than 20 years of age and younger than 37
  • Be a  U.S. citizen (Some facilities with in critical need may employ non-citizens)
  • Have no felony or serious misdemeanor convictions
  • Have a clean financial history

Correctional officers may join the BOP at the GS-5 or GS-6 pay levels, and complete their careers at the GS-7 pay level.  The salary ranges for these in 2012 were

  • General Schedule:  $31,315 – $40,706
  • General Schedule 6:  $34,907 – $45,376
  • General Schedule 7:  $38,790 – $50,431

The requirements for GS-5 employees includes

  • Bachelor’s degree; or
  • At least three years of full time experience in
    • Management
    • Sales
    • Teaching
    • Child care
    • Counseling
    • Security

GS-6 jobs require candidates to possess one or more of  these qualifications:

  • At least nine semester hours of graduate study in
    • Criminal justice; or
    • Social science; or
    • Criminology; or
    • Law
  • At least one year of experience in
    • Corrections
    • Mental health treatment
    • Law enforcement

Connecticut Department of Corrections

The Connecticut Department of Correction is the only employer of correctional officers in the State of Connecticut, and all correctional officers perform their job duties within the correctional facilities of the state, both in urban and rural communities, including Suffield, Brooklyn, Hartford, and Bridgeport.

Candidates interested in learning how to become correctional officers in Connecticut must have no prior felony convictions, and all candidates must be at least 21 years old and must show proof of either a high school diploma or a GED. Individuals should also expect to undergo a thorough background investigation and drug screening prior to becoming employed with the Department.

How to Become a Correctional Officer in Connecticut through Training

Training is a significant component of beginning a correctional officer career in Connecticut. As such, all new correctional officers must complete a ten-week basic training program upon being hired. Only those candidates who meet the minimum qualification for employment are eligible to attend the Cheshire Training Academy for pre-service training.

New appointees to the training academy will learn proper security, custody procedures, facility management, and institutional policies and regulations.

New correctional officers must complete a set of core curricula tests, which are provided by the Maloney Center for Training and Staff Development (CTSD), upon the completion of specific programs, which include the following:

  • Prison environment
  • Inmate supervision
  • Interpersonal communication skills
  • Report writing
  • Use of force
  • Behavior management
  • Legal issues
  • Security procedures
  • Code of ethics
  • Visiting procedures
  • Employee conduct and professionalism

Individuals must achieve a score of at least 70 percent on all core curricula tests and a minimum score of 84 percent on all CPR course exams. Further, all new employees must complete a 10-week program and working test period.

In-Service Training Requirements for Correctional Officers

All corrections officers in Connecticut must complete annual, in-service training totaling at least 40 hours. Training requirements will depend on a training plan approved by Department and may change depending on the operating needs of the Department.

Annual training programs may also provide qualified officers with the opportunity to achieve promotion into supervisory or administrative positions, such as counselor supervisors, wardens, and correctional lieutenants.

Corrections Officer Salary in Connecticut

Below is the graduated salary schedule offered to correctional officers, lieutenants, captains and majors in Connecticut as published by the Connecticut Department of Corrections:

Correction Officer:

  • Step 1: $41,542
  • Step 2: $42,971
  • Step 3: $44,405
  • Step 4: $45,830
  • Step 5: $47,256
  • Step 10 (Maximum): $54,727

Correctional Lieutenant:

  • Minimum: $59,002
  • Maximum: $77,954

Correctional Captain:

  • Minimum: $71,722
  • Maximum: $94,761

Correctional Major:

  • Minimum: $72,741
  • Maximum: $93,304

The U.S. Department of Labor shows the median corrections officer salary in Connecticut was $55,060 as of 2012.

Shown here are the salary figures for correctional officers in Connecticut as published by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics:

Area name
Employment
Annual mean wage
Springfield MA-CT
Estimate Not Released
50390

Fairfield County, Connecticut Corrections Officer Job Description

Fairfield County is the most populated county in the State of Connecticut, with a population of more than 916,000 (as of the 2010 census). It is also home to the large metropolitan area of Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, which is part of the even larger New York-Newark, NY-NJ-CT-PA combined statistical area. Fairfield County is also home to no less than three correctional institutions:

Bridgeport Correctional Center – Bridgeport Correctional Center which, as of January 2014, included 1,020 inmates and 325 employees, is a level 4, high-security facility that houses both pretrial and sentenced offenders, as well as sentenced, level 2, minimum-security offenders for an inmate workforce population.

The Bridgeport Correctional Center was opened in 1958 and renovated in 1974, which added a facility for 310 level 4 inmates.

Garner Correctional Institution – There were 526 inmates and 294 employees at the Garner Correctional Institution, a level 4 high-security facility. This facility is designed to house both pretrial and sentenced offenders, which includes adult male offenders with significant mental health issues. The Garner Correctional Institution works alongside the University of Connecticut, Correctional Managed Health Care to provide inmates with a progressive mental health treatment program.

The Garner Correctional Institution was opened in 1992. It sits on 118 acres and includes a main building of more than 245,000 square feet, along with an adjacent building of 15,000 square feet. This facility also houses a number of Federal High Security inmates.

FCI Danbury – FCI Danbury is a low-security federal correctional institution under the management of the Federal Bureau of Prisons. It also features an adjacent, minimum-security satellite camp. FCI Danbury is currently an all-female facility that houses 181 total inmates. However, it was recently announced that FCI Danbury would be transitioned from housing women to housing men by 2014, although the satellite camp will continue to house female offenders.

How to Become a Connecticut State Correctional Officer in Fairfield County

Individuals who want to work for the Connecticut Department of Correction and work at either the Garner Correctional Institution or the Bridgeport Correctional Center in Fairfield County must meet the following, minimum requirements:

  • They must be at least 21 years old.
  • They must be a United States citizen.
  • They must possess a valid Connecticut driver’s license.
  • They must have no felony convictions.
  • They must possess a high school diploma or GED.

Many individuals seek out an associate’s or bachelor’s degree to attain a competitive edge over other candidates and prepare themselves for upper-level correctional officer jobs. As such, common majors for Connecticut State corrections officers include criminal justice, criminology, or degrees in a social science or behavioral science.

Further, candidates for State correctional officer jobs must be prepared to successfully complete the following:

  • A written test (includes 85 multiple-choice questions regarding topics such as: written communications skills, reading, the ability to follow directions, observation, basic math skills, observation skills, judgment, and logical reasoning ability, among others)
  • A physical fitness test (includes a sit-and-reach test, a one-minute sit-up test, a one-minute push-up test, and a 300-meter run test)
  • A structured interview
  • A background investigation
  • A medical evaluation
  • The 10-week training program at the Maloney Center for Training and Staff Development in Cheshire, Connecticut (includes classroom, physical, and on-site training)

How to Become a Federal Correctional Officer in Fairfield County

Individuals who want to become a Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) correctional officer and work at the FCI Danbury must be able to meet the BOP’s minimum requirements for employment, which include:

  • Must be a United States citizen
  • Must possess a valid driver’s license
  • Must be between the ages of 21 and 36 at the time of appointment

Further, all candidates for BOP correctional officer jobs must meet the requirements of the GS-5 level. Individuals without prior experience may qualify at the GS-5 level if they possess a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university, in any subject area.

Although there are no major specified for the bachelor’s degree, many candidates for federal correctional officer jobs find value in pursuing a degree related to the profession. Just a few of the programs commonly sought out by individuals in the federal corrections industry include:

  • Criminal justice
  • Criminology
  • Sociology
  • Psychology
  • Public administration
  • Police science

Hartford, Connecticut Corrections Officer Job Description

As of 2012, there were 16,591 inmates housed in Connecticut, which is a steady decrease since 2008, when the offender population reached 19,413. The number of authorized positions for correctional officers with the Connecticut Department of Correction has also steadily decreased, from a high of 6,919 in 2008 to 6,348 in 2012.

In addition, Connecticut is home to FCI Danbury, a federal correctional institution that houses female offenders in a low-security facility. FCI Danbury, which is located in southwestern Connecticut, had an inmate population of 1,147 as of May 2013. The facility’s adjacent satellite camp had an inmate population of 217 during the same time.

Requirements for Correctional Officer Jobs in Hartford

Correctional officer jobs in Hartford, Connecticut, may be found in both the state facilities and the federal correctional facility of FCI Danbury. However, employment qualifications for state and federal corrections officer jobs differ, so it is important to understand the requirements of both:

Federal Correctional Facilities

Like other federal correctional facilities, FCI Danbury demands corrections officers with specific education and/or experience requirements. Candidates for federal corrections officer jobs in Hartford, must:

  • Be under the age of 37 at the time of application; however, candidates with previous civil service experience at the federal level may be exempt from the age requirement
  • Possess a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university

Individuals who do not possess a bachelor’s degree may qualify for corrections officer jobs in Hartford if they have at least 3 years of experience in one of the following fields:

  • Teaching/instructing
  • Counseling
  • Social work/welfare work
  • Sales (commission-based)
  • Managing/supervising

Individuals may fulfill the experience requirement if their experience included work as a: social worker; probation or parole officer; teacher; manager or supervisor; or commissioned salesperson, among others.

State Correctional Facilities

Candidates who want to learn how to become a correctional officer in Hartford must:

  • Be at least 21 years old
  • Have a high school diploma or GED
  • Pass a number of assessments, including strength/endurance and character examinations given by the DOC
  • Pass a cognitive ability assessment given by the DOC

Training requirements for state correctional officer jobs are also well-defined, as all new correctional officers must complete pre-service training at the Cheshire Training Academy for a period of 10 weeks upon being hired. Throughout the basic training period, new corrections officers must pass a set of core curricula tests with a minimum score of 70 percent.

Annual, in-service training for corrections officer jobs in Hartford, Connecticut, totals at least 40 hours.

State Correctional Facility Profiles in Hartford, Connecticut

Hartford is part of the New Haven Judicial District, which also includes the cities/towns of:

  • Woodbridge
  • Wallingford
  • North Haven
  • North Branford
  • Meriden
  • Madison
  • Hamden
  • Guilford
  • East Haven
  • Cheshire
  • Branford
  • Bethany

The following state correctional facilities are located within the New Haven Judicial District:

New Haven Correctional Center

  • New Haven, CT
  • Staff total: 275
  • Population total (as of January 2013): 761

Cheshire Correctional Institution

  • Cheshire, CT
  • Staff total: 428
  • Population total (as of January 2013): 1,349

Manson Youth Institution

  • Cheshire, CT
  • Staff total: 283
  • Population total (as of January 2013): 399

New Haven, Connecticut Corrections Officer Job Description

The Connecticut Department of Correction is responsible for the 18 correctional facilities in the state, although 3 are currently closed due to low inmate counts. Incarcerated individuals in Connecticut, within the past 5 years, totaled:

  • 2008: 19,413
  • 2009: 18,891
  • 2010: 18,431
  • 2011: 17,631
  • 2012: 16,591

During the same time period, positions for correctional officers within Connecticut’s correctional facilities, totaled:

  • 2008: 6,919
  • 2009: 6,882
  • 2010: 6,492
  • 2011: 6,943
  • 2012: 6,348

Correctional officers in Connecticut may also work at the federal correctional institution of FCI Danbury, a low-security institution in southwest Connecticut that had an inmate population of 1,147 as of May 2013.

How to Become a Correctional Officer in New Haven, Connecticut

Federal Corrections

Federal corrections jobs in New Haven, Connecticut, at the FCI Danbury also require a strict set of minimum employment requirements. To qualify for entry-level corrections officer jobs (GS-05 level), candidates must:

  • Be no older than 37 at the time of application (Age requirement may be waived for candidates with previous federal civil service experience.)
  • Possess a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university; OR
  • Possess at least 3 years of experience in one the following areas:
    • Counseling/social work/welfare work
    • Teaching or instructing
    • Responding to emergency situations
    • Selling in a commission-based environment
    • Managing or supervising other individuals

Individuals interested in attaining advanced corrections officer jobs (GS-06 level or higher) must possess advanced schooling (graduate level work) or specific, specialized experience in one of the social sciences or criminal justice.

State Corrections

Individuals who want to learn how to become a correctional officer in New Haven must meet the minimum employment requirements set forth by the Connecticut Department of Correction, which include:

  • At least 21 years old
  • A high school diploma or a GED
  • The ability to pass a number of physical (strength and endurance), cognitive and character assessments

Training requirements for correctional officer jobs in New Haven, Connecticut, include 10 weeks of basic training at the Cheshire Training Academy. Annual, in-service training includes 40 hours.

State Correctional Facilities in New Haven, Connecticut

New Haven is part of the Hartford Judicial District, which also includes the following cities/towns:

  • Avon
  • Windsor Locks
  • Windsor
  • West Hartford
  • Suffield
  • South Windsor
  • Simsbury
  • Marlborough
  • Manchester
  • Granby
  • Glastonbury
  • Farmington
  • Enfield
  • East Windsor
  • East Hartford
  • East Granby
  • Canton
  • Bloomfield

Within the Hartford Judicial District are the following state correctional institutions:

Hartford Correctional Center

  • Hartford, CT
  • Inmate population (as of January 2013): 1,069
  • Total staff: 337

Enfield Correctional Institution

  • Enfield, CT
  • Inmate population (as of January 2013): 809
  • Total staff: 225

Niantic, Connecticut Corrections Officer Job Description

Niantic, Connecticut, which is located just 20 minutes south of Mystic Connecticut, and just two hours from New York City and Boston, is a seaside village that is home to two of Connecticut’s State correctional institutions, which includes the State’s only female correctional institution:

York Correctional Institution – As of January 2013, York Correctional Institution had a population of 1,109 and a staff of 502. This high-security correctional institution is the only facility for female offenders in the state. York Correctional Institution is home to an intensive, inpatient drug treatment unit, as well as a hospice program and a stand-alone unit that assists women within 18 months of their release to more successfully reintegrate into society.

Niantic Annex – As of January 2013, Niantic Annex had an inmate population of 430 and a staff of 502. The Niantic Annex was founded in 2011 when the Gates Correctional Institution was closed and the annex of 225 men was added to the facility. This move was made to facilitate the reintegration of offenders from the southeastern part of Connecticut and to provide inmate work crews to the surrounding communities.

Minimum Requirements for Becoming a Connecticut Correctional Officer in Niantic

Candidates for Connecticut correctional officer jobs in Niantic, either at the York Correctional Institution or the Niantic Annex, must meet the following requirements:

  • Must be a United States citizen
  • Must possess a valid Connecticut driver’s license
  • Must be at least 21 years old
  • Must possess a high school diploma or GED
  • Must be in good health and free of any disease or injury that would impede their ability to perform the job of a correctional officer
  • Must have excellent moral character
  • Must have a good educational and/or work record
  • Must not have any felony convictions
  • Must be willing to work day, evening, night, and weekend shifts and be on call 24 hours a day

There are many benefits to earning a college degree. Candidates for Connecticut correctional officer jobs often choose to pursue an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in the following programs to achieve a competitive edge for selection and career advancement:

  • Criminology
  • Criminal justice
  • Public administration
  • Sociology
  • Psychology

The Selection and Training Process for Correctional Officer Jobs in Niantic

The selection process for new hires with the Connecticut Department of Correction includes a:

  • Written test
  • Physical fitness test
  • Structured interview
  • Background investigation
  • Medical evaluation

The Department of Correction oversees all components of the selection process. Candidates must be able to successfully complete each component to move on with the selection process.

The written test consists of 85 multiple-choice questions that are designed to test candidates on areas deemed important for successful job performance as a correction officer. The following areas are assessed:

  • Written Communication Skills
  • Reading Ability and Ability to Follow Directions
  • Oral Communication Skills
  • Observation, Counting and Basic Math Skills
  • Judgment and Logical Reasoning Ability
  • Interpersonal Ability
  • Interests and Preferences
  • Ability to Observe and Recognize People

All new Connecticut State correctional officers must complete a 10-week formal training program, which is located in Cheshire, Connecticut. This 10-week program includes the following:

  • An introduction to the Department of Correction Policies and Procedures
  • At least 112 hours of on-the-job training (called on-site sensitization)
  • Physical training of at least one hour a day; physical training includes running, push-ups, sit-ups, and cardiovascular exercises

Tolland County, Connecticut Corrections Officer Job Description

Connecticut corrections officer jobs in Tolland County are plentiful, thanks to the two State correctional institutions that are located here:

Osborn Correctional Institution: As of January 2013, Osborn Correctional Institution, located in Somers, had an inmate population of 2,024, with a staff of 426. It consists of a medium-security facility that houses one of the largest inmate populations in the State of Connecticut. There are 17 inmate-housing units within Osborn Correctional Institution, with each one having its own specific institutional function. This Connecticut correctional facility supports an inpatient medical hospital, medical health unit, an inpatient addiction services unit, and one of the largest Correctional Industries Programs in the state.

Northern Correctional Institution: Northern Correctional Institution, located in Somers, has an inmate population of 259 and a staff of 310, as of January 2013. This correctional institution is a level five, maximum security facility that has been designated to manage those inmates who pose a threat to the safety and security of the community, staff, and other inmates. Inmates sentenced to death are also housed here. Northern Correctional Institution is situated on 20 acres and is adjacent to the Osborn Correctional Institution.

How to Become a Correctional Officer in Tolland County

Individuals who want to work in Tolland County at either the Osborn or Northern Correctional Institution must meet the minimum requirements of the Connecticut Department of Corrections:

  • Must possess a high school diploma or GED
  • Must be at least 21 years old
  • Must be in general good health and free of any disease or injury that would impair their ability to perform the job of a correctional officer
  • Possess a good education and/or work record
  • Must have no felony convictions
  • Must possess a valid Connecticut driver’s license
  • Must be a United States citizen

Many candidates choose to pursue a formal college degree, as it may provide a number of opportunities for advancement and may provide them with a competitive edge among other candidates. Ideal majors for correctional officers, whether at the associate or bachelor’s level, may be focused on a number of areas:

  • Criminology
  • Criminal justice
  • Sociology
  • Police science
  • Public administration

Training Requirements for Becoming a Correctional Officer in Tolland County

Training for Connecticut correctional officers must begin at the time of appointment. All new hires are required to participate in a formal training course to develop knowledge of correctional custody procedures.

Correctional officer Pre-Service training consists of a 10-week program that is administered at the Maloney Center for Training and Staff Development located in Cheshire, Connecticut.

During the training program, new hires are introduced to the Department of Corrections Policies and Procedures and instructed and tested on topics related to law and protocol. Further, during this time, trainees must receive a minimum of 112.5 hours of on-site training at either the Osborn or Northern Correctional Institutions.

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