Although the number of indexed offenses in Nevada decreased by more than 7% from 2010 to 2011, the state’s rate of violent crime per 1,000 residents in 2010 was higher than the nation’s average for murder, rape, robbery, assault, burglary, and motor vehicle theft.
In early May 2013, Nevada’s prison population was 12,695.
How to Become a Correctional Officer in Nevada
Correctional officers in Nevada work for the state’s Department of Corrections, which employs over 2,400 people. The primary requirement to become a correctional officer in Nevada is to have at least a high school diploma or GED and two years of full time experience working in any field. A combination of experience and education that is equivalent will satisfy this requirement.
Applicants with an associate’s degree in criminal justice, corrections, or a related field only need to have one and a half year’s work experience. Additional requirements include:
- Being 21 years when appointed
- Being a U.S. citizen
- Not having used a controlled substance (including prescription drugs) within a year of the application’s date
- Not having any of the following convictions:
- Within 7 years of the application
- Twice or more
- Domestic violence
- Having been honorably discharged (if applicable)
To apply for a position as a correctional officer in Nevada, start with the instructions page. Before searching job announcements, applicants must create an account and complete a profile. After applying for a position, there is a list of prescreening questions that need to be answered. With those complete, an application can be submitted.
Applicants can expect to:
- Have a background check from Nevada/FBI
- Be tested for controlled substances
- Undergo a criminal history check
- Be fingerprinted
- Be tested for physical fitness
- Vertical jump: 15 inches
- Agility run: in 20.4 seconds
- 300 meter run: in 1:14 minutes
- 1.5 mile run/walk: in 17:37 min
- Undergo a medical and physical examination
- Undergo a psychological examination
- Take part in a structured interview
Correctional Officer Training in Nevada
Once applicants have gone this process and been accepted as correctional officers, they are known as correctional officer trainees. Trainees have a minimum of 160 hours of pre-service training to learn how to become corrections officers and get POST (Peace Officer Standards and Training) certification. The DOC provides this Correctional Employee Basic Training at the following locations several times a year:
- Carson City: the Nevada Department of Corrections Training Academy
- Lovelock: Lovelock Correctional Center
- Ely: Ely State Prison
- Indian Springs: High Desert State Prison
Correctional officer trainees learn the abilities, knowledge, and skills necessary to effectively serve as correctional officers in Nevada. Areas of study include:
- Institutional and environmental safety
- Defensive tactics
- Critical issues in justice administration
- Institutional operations
- Controlled substances and legal issues
- Correctional officer success and retention
Once they are established in their careers, correctional officers in Nevada take part in a refresher-training program.