Indiana Corrections Officer Job Description

Indiana is home to the Federal Correctional Complex in Terre Haute which is operated by the Federal Bureau of Prisons.  The FCC Terre Haute is comprised of a Federal Correctional Institution holding medium security male inmates, which also has an adjacent minimum security prison camp, and a U.S. Penitentiary which houses high security male inmates as well as a Special Confinement Unit for inmates sentenced to death. In the latest population count in 2013, the FCI held 1,124 inmates, its camp housed 481 inmates and the U.S. Penitentiary housed 1,629 inmates.

Indiana’s crime rate is slightly below the US average. Still, 292 murders and 47,115 burglaries were committed in the state in 2010.  The Indiana Department of Corrections (IDOC) operates twenty adult facilities that had an average daily population of 26,401 inmates in 2010-2011.  This level of incarceration requires the services of dedicated correctional officers, and there were over 8,100 such officers employed in Indiana in 2012.

The IDOC has a number of innovative programs, such as having pregnant inmates stay with their babies while incarcerated, along with a number of notable training programs. The American Correctional Association recognized the excellence of the IDOC by awarding it the Golden Eagle Award in 2012.

How to Become a Correctional Officer in Indiana

Federal Correctional Officer

The Federal Bureau of Prisons requires that all correctional officers meet the following requirements:

  • Be at least 21 years of age and no older than 36
  • Be a U.S. citizen (some facilities may waive this requirement if experiencing exceptional need)
  • Have no felony or serious misdemeanor convictions
  • Have a financial history without serious improprieties

Correctional officers who wish to join the BOP at the GS-5 pay grade must meet these requirements:

  • Have a bachelor’s degree; or
  • Have three years of full time experience in
    • Teaching
    • Counseling
    • Management
    • Sales
    • Emergency response

The GS-6 pay grade is available to candidates with one or more of the following qualifications:

  • Nine semester hours of graduates courses in
    • Law
    • Social science
    • Criminal justice
  • One year of full time experience in
    • Law enforcement
    • Corrections
    • Mental health treatment

The Indiana Department of Corrections (IDOC) 

There are a number of requirements to become a correctional officer in Indiana:

  • Having three years of experience working full-time
  • Having graduated from high school or possessing a GED
  • Being at least 18 years old
  • Possessing a valid driver’s license that is comparable to Indiana’s

College training from an accredited school can substitute for three years of work experience.  An associate’s degree can substitute if it is in one of the following or a related area:

  • Criminal justice
  • Corrections
  • Criminology

Applicants must be willing to undergo a background check and take part in a yearly physical ability examination.

Training to Become a Correctional Officer in Indiana

Federal Law Enforcement Training Academy

New federal correctional officers must complete both phases of Introduction to Correctional Techniques which is a 200 hour training program.  The first phase is an 80 hour orientation held at the assigned correctional facility.  This is followed by a 120 hour program at the FLETA in Glynco, GA, which includes firearms training, policies & procedures, and self-defense.  In subsequent years, correctional officers must obtain at least 16 hours of additional training annually.

The Indiana Department of Corrections (IDOC)

There are two phases of training required before new correctional officers start their pre-service training.  The required forty hours of training starts online with 16 training modules that must be completed.  After this, prospective correctional officers take part in two days of classroom training at the facility they have been assigned to.  This involves:

  • Administrative topics
  • Facility specific topics
  • Human resource topics

This training is followed by a test on both phases.

Before they are assigned to supervise offenders, new correctional officers must take part in eighteen days of training at one of the Correctional Preservice Academies.  These are located in the following regions:

  • East
  • North Central
  • Central
  • West
  • North

The 144 hours of training involves classroom instruction on the policies and procedures of correctional work before the new correctional officers can start their jobs.

Once correctional officers are established in their careers, there is a wide variety of training available online through the IDOC website.

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