With eight facilities or field offices in Florida, the Federal Bureau of Prisons maintains a strong presence and provides a wide variety of corrections opportunities. The BOP operates Community Corrections Management field offices in Orlando and Miami. It also manages four medium security male Federal Correctional Institutions in Miami, Marianna, Tallahassee, and Coleman; there is an additional FCI at Coleman that is low security. A Federal Prison Camp is located in Pensacola that houses minimum security male inmates, while a Federal Detention Center is located in Miami which holds male and female defendants awaiting trial, deportation or transport to a permanent facility. The Federal Correctional Complex in Coleman also includes two U.S. Penitentiaries which house high security inmates. In total, the Federal Bureau of Prisons supervised 13,630 inmates in Florida during 2013.
The Florida Department of Corrections operates 140 prison facilities located throughout the state of Florida that are staffed with dedicated men and women who serve as correctional officers. The type of facility an offender is sent to is determined by his/her needs and security risk. These prisons only house persons sentenced to at least one year. Those with longer sentences are kept in county and city jails.
What it Means to be a Correctional Officer in Florida
In Florida, correctional officers are a prison’s front line. They are responsible for the supervision, care and control of inmates, including physical restraint when necessary. Correctional officers work one of three shifts (8:00 a.m. to 4 p.m., 4:00 p.m. to midnight and 12:00 p.m. to 8 a.m.) at any of the following duty posts:
- Headquarters. Duties include handling large numbers of reports, forms, logs, etc., as well as issuing cleaning chemicals to orderlies.
- Control Room. Monitors electronic door locks and issues all keys, radios, weapons, handcuffs and chemical agents. Handles computer, radios and telephone communication as well as the public address system. Prepares and maintains numerous reports and logs.
- Perimeter. Patrols perimeter in a vehicle; maintains radio communication.
- Receiving Gate. Searches all entering and exiting vehicles.
- Inside Security. Patrols all interior areas on foot.
- Dormitory. Patrols dorm areas, searches inmates and their property. Prepares and maintains reports and logs.
- Inside Grounds. Supervises inmates working on grounds. Issues, tools, equipment, lawnmowers, gasoline, etc.
- Public Work Squad. Supervises inmates working on community projects such as highway-area trash collections.
- Medical Escort. Drives inmates to medical facilities. Wears body armor.
- Motor Pool. Supervises inmates working on prison vehicles.
- Laundry. Handles inmate clothing/linens.
- Food Services. Monitors eating areas; supervises kitchen workers.
- Mail. Examines all incoming and outgoing mail and parcels.
Qualifications for Beginning a Career as a Correctional Officer in Florida
Federal Bureau of Prisons
The Federal Bureau of Prisons sponsors numerous correctional officers jobs in Florida at the GS-5 or GS-6 pay levels. In order to join the BOP at the GS-5 level, candidates must possess these attributes
- Have no felony or serious misdemeanor convictions
- Be free from any crippling financial debts
- Be a U.S. citizen
- Between 20 and 37 years of age
- Physically capable of performing the following tasks
- Dummy drag—cross 694 feet in less than three minutes while dragging a 75 pound dummy
- Obstacle course—to be completed in less than 58 seconds
- Climb and grasp—ascend a ladder and grasp an object within seven seconds
- Stair climb—ascend 108 steps within 45 seconds while carrying a 25 pound weight
- Run and cuff—run one quarter of a mile and handcuff an individual within 2 minutes and 35 seconds
- Have a bachelor’s degree in any field; or
- Have at least three years of experience in
- Commissioned sales
- Management or supervision
- Child care
- Religious instruction
Candidates who possess one or both of the following qualifications are eligible for GS-6 jobs:
- Graduate coursework equaling or exceeding nine semester hours or 14 quarter hours in
- Social science
- Have at least one year of full time experience in
- Law enforcement
- Mental health care
Florida Department of Corrections
The minimum requirements for correctional officer jobs in Florida are:
- At least 19 years old
- U.S. citizen
- High school diploma (or equivalent)
- Valid Florida driver’s license
- No felony convictions or misdemeanor convictions involving perjury or false statements
- No dishonorable military discharge
- Physically fit
- Good moral character
Those whose applications are accepted will be fingerprinted and must successfully pass a drug screening, background investigation and medical examination. All new hires must satisfactorily complete an entry-level corrections officer training program administered by the Criminal Justice Standards and Training Commission.
How to Apply for a Job as Corrections Officer in Florida
Federal correctional jobs in Florida may be found at www.USAJobs.gov. The application must be submitted along with digital copies of supporting documents like transcripts, resumes, and military service forms.
The telephone number for information regarding jobs or internships with the Florida Department of Corrections (FDOC) is 1-866-JOB-FDOC. Interested men and women can also get more information, fill out a short e-mail application, or submit a detailed online application by going to the FDOC website and clicking on “Contact Us.”
Information and applications are also available at any Department of Corrections personnel office for those interested in finding out how to become a corrections officer in Florida. The addresses and telephone number of these offices in various cities can also be found on the FDOC website.
Florida Correctional Officer Salaries
Federal Correctional Officers
Federal correctional officers may be rated GS-5.GS-6 or GS-7. In 2012, the salary ranges for these pay grades were
- General Schedule 5: $31,315 – $40,706
- General Schedule 6: $34,907 – $45,376
- General Schedule 7: $38,790 – $50,431
State Correctional Officers
Annual salaries for the position of correctional officer in Florida are:
- Trainee officer – $28,007.20
- Certified officer – $30,807.92 to $45,033.82; an additional $2,500 for those working in Broward, Dade, Monroe or Palm Beach counties; an additional $1,200 for Okeechobee, Indian River or Martin counties.
- $325 annual uniform/shoe allowance.
- Incentive pay for continuing education.