Corrections Officer Jobs in Louisiana

The Federal Bureau of Prisons supervises almost 5,736 inmates throughout its Louisiana-based correctional institutions.  These include the U.S. Penitentiary at Pollock housing high security male inmates, which also has an attached minimum security prison camp.  The Federal Correctional Complex at Oakdale includes a low security Federal Correctional Institution as well as a Federal Detention Center which holds pre-trial and holdover inmates.

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Louisiana’s correctional institutions, parish facilities and work release centers house 38,000 inmates. According to a May 2012 article in the New Orleans Times-Picayune, Louisiana imprisons more of its citizens, per capita, than any other state in the United States.

The inmate population in Louisiana has doubled over the past 20 years, with one in 86 Louisiana citizens having been incarcerated. One in seven black men in New Orleans is in prison or on probation or parole. The article indicates that many prisons in Louisiana are for-profit institutions, with each prison inmate worth almost $25 in money from the state.

Meet the Qualifications to Become a Correctional Officer in Louisiana

Federal Correctional Officers

The minimum requirements to join the Federal Bureau of Prisons at the GS-5 pay grade are

  • Be a U.S. citizen (some facilities may waive this if in need)
  • Be between 20 and 37 years of age
  • Have a clean criminal history
  • Have no serious financial debts
  • Have a bachelor’s degree; or
  • Have at least three years of full time experience in
    • Counseling
    • Emergency response
    • Teaching
    • Management
    • Sales
    • Security

The qualifications for entry at the GS-6 level include one or more of the following:

  • Have completed at least nine semester hours of graduate study in
    • Law
    • Social science
    • Criminology
  • Have a year of specialized experience in
    • Mental health treatment
    • Corrections
    • Law enforcement

Louisiana Department of Corrections

No education (beyond a high school diploma/GED) or experience is required to take the Corrections Cadet Test in Louisiana, the first step towards becoming a Louisiana Correctional Officer. Candidates for correctional officer jobs in Louisiana must be at least 18 years old, however, possess a valid driver’s license, be a U.S. citizen, and have no felonies or misdemeanors of domestic violence on record. Steps to become a correctional officer in Louisiana are:

  1. Take the Corrections Cadet Test. This may be scheduled online through the Louisiana Department of State Civil Service. All candidates must specify when applying online where they wish to take the test (usually the center(s) that have the Corrections Cadet job opening will offer the test).
  2. After taking the Corrections Cadet test, apply online for open Corrections Cadet positions. When candidates apply, they will also be considered for Corrections Sergeant or Sergeant-Master depending upon their experience, as follows:
    • Corrections Cadet – no experience, entry-level position
    • Corrections Sergeant- have six months of experience in corrections (including penal and mental institutions, prison farms and prison industries)
    • Corrections Sergeant-Master-  have one year of experience in corrections (law enforcement experience may be substituted for this requirement)
  3. Qualified candidates may be contacted to continue in the hiring process, which includes an interview, psychological and physical exams, drug test and background investigation.

Training For Corrections Officers in Louisiana

Federal Correctional Officers

New federal correctional officers must complete 200 hours of training prior to field duty.  Eighty hours of training are conducted at the assigned facility and provide orientation to security procedures and facility policies.  The remaining portion of training is provided through the Staff Training Academy in Glynco, GA.  Recruits will receive specialized training in federal correctional policies, firearms use, witness security, marksmanship, and self-defense.  Following the first year, federal correctional officers must receive 16 to 40 hours of in-service training annually.

Louisiana Department of Corrections

New correctional officers in Louisiana must complete 120 hours of pr-service training upon hire. They must also become Louisiana POST (Peace Officer Standards and Training) certified, which consists of 249 hours and firearms qualification. Basic POST training is currently offered at the following training academies:

  • Shreveport Regional Police Training Academy, Shreveport
  • St. Martin Parish Regional Training Academy, St. Martinville
  • Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Training Academy, Shreveport
  • CARTA (Capital Area Regional Training Academy), Baton Rouge
  • Kenner Police Academy, Kenner
  • Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office Training Academy, Harvey

Classes for a Louisiana correctional officer’s POST certification include:

  • Physical training
  • Firearms
  • First Aid
  • Legal Aspects
  • Orientation to Criminal Justice

Each year, correctional officers in Louisiana are expected to take 40 hours of training. They must also re-qualify under POST in the usage of firearms.

Sites for Correctional Officer Jobs in Louisiana

Corrections cadets, who will become Corrections Sergeants after six months of experience, may be placed at any of the following correctional institutions throughout Louisiana:

  • Winn Correctional Center, Atlanta
  • B.B. Rayburn Correctional Center, Angie
  • Louisiana State Penitentiary, Angola
  • Louisiana Correctional Institute for Women, St. Gabriel
  • J. Levy Dabadie Correctional Center, Pineville
  • Forcht-Wade Correctional Center, Keithville
  • Elayn Hunt Correctional Center,  St. Gabriel
  • Dixon Correctional Institute, Jackson
  • David Wade Correctional Center, Homer
  • Avoyelles Correctional Center, Cottonport
  • Allen Correctional Center, Kinder

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