Although the overall rate of violent crime and crimes against persons in Idaho decreased from 2010 to 2011, the rate of crimes against society and property were higher in 2011 than 2010. The incidents of forcible rape in 2011 were calculated to occur every 20.2 hours, while simple assaults took place every 42.8 minutes.
This resulted in there being 7431 individuals incarcerated in Idaho at the end of 2010, requiring oversight from a number of correctional officers. The Idaho Department of Corrections (IDOC) operates eight prisons within the state and is the third largest employer in the state government. Over 1,600 correctional officers oversaw inmates in Idaho during 2012.
Steps to Apply for Correctional Officer Jobs in Idaho
The Idaho Division of Human Resources is responsible for hiring correctional officers in the state. When positions are available, they are listed on the department’s website. Interested applicants can apply online when a position is posted.
The requirements to apply include being at least 21 years of age and having graduated from high school (a GED is acceptable). Applicants should be prepared to take an hour-long examination online.
The next step in applying for correctional officer jobs in Idaho is to download and fill out the Background Investigation Questionnaire. Applicants must send this to the Human Resources office, along with copies of the following items:
- Proof of being a U.S. citizen
- Transcripts of high school
- High school diploma or GED certificate
- DD-214 (if applicable)
Applicants are ranked according to their score. This generates a pool of qualified applicants who will be on a register for ninety days to a year. Applicants who have not been selected as top candidates will be notified by e-mail.
Candidates to be interviewed are chosen from among a list of the top 25 candidates, as required by state law. They must report to one of the state’s facilities for an interview and must bring the paperwork that was required for the background questionnaire.
Applicants who are found to be top candidates after their interview may be given a conditional offer of employment. They will start their careers as correctional officers by filling out paperwork for the Idaho POST (Peace Officer Standards and Training) Academy.
Training to Become a Correctional Officer in Idaho
New employees undergo ten weeks of paid training to learn to become correctional officers in Idaho. There are four phases of this training:
The first phase of training involves a one week orientation for new employees at the POST Academy in Stratford Meridian. This will include classroom instruction on security practices and interacting with offenders, along with learning such practical skills as defensive driving.
The next week of training takes place at the assigned institution. Trainees will shadow experienced field training officers. This gives them a hands on perspective of their future responsibilities, along with practical experience working with offenders.
The third phase involves five weeks of training at the POST Academy. This instruction is a mix of classroom instruction on such topics as report writing and learning con games frequently practiced by offenders. It also involves practical training in using firearms and the techniques of arrest.
Since correctional officer jobs can be physically demanding, there is a test of physical agility that is required to pass the training and get certified as a Peace Officer in Idaho. This Fitness Agility Test Battery (FATB) involves:
- An 880 yard walk/run/jog
- Climbing a ladder
- A test of lifting and walking
- A test of dexterity and flexibility
- A test of searching and flexibility
Established correctional officers in Idaho undergo periodic training throughout their careers to keep their skills sharp and maintain their POST certification.