While North Dakota has a very small prison population when compared to other states around the country, it may present more opportunities for prospective correctional officers. In the United States, prison populations have been decreasing in just about every state, but in North Dakota the inmate population has been increasing. In total, North Dakota has more than 1,500 inmates in prison and correctional facilities across the state.
There are four state correctional facilities in North Dakota, the largest being the North Dakota State Prison, which houses roughly a third of all the prisoners in the state. All correctional officer services are supervised by North Dakota Department of Corrections.
Correctional Officer Qualifications and Requirements
In order for an applicant to get a job as a correctional officer in North Dakota, they must first meet a series of basic requirements and qualifications. If an applicant does not meet all of the requirements and qualifications, then they will not be considered for the position and will not move along into the hiring process. Those requirements and qualifications are as follows:
- Must be a United States citizen
- Must be able to pass a criminal background check
- Must have a valid drivers license
- Must be of high moral character
- Must have at least a high school diploma, GED or an equivalent level of education
- Must be in good physical condition
Applicants with a two year or four year college degree are given special consideration during the application process. Likewise, any applicant with at least two years of experience in military service, security work or law enforcement are also given special consideration during the process. Veterans and the spouses of veterans are also given preference.
The Training Process
If an applicant is deemed qualified for a job as a correctional officer in North Dakota, then they will move through the hiring process and into the training process. Correctional officer training is a very intensive program that teaches recruits how to perform searches of inmates, how to deal with hostile and deadly situations, how to transport inmates from various facilities, how to perform CPR and emergency management, how to conduct surveillance operations and how to conduct and file formal reports to various law enforcement agencies, among many other duties.
During the first year of employment, correctional officers are required to complete 160 hours of training.After the first year of employment, correctional officers in North Dakota are required to complete an additional 43 hours of training each year that they are working at a state prison or correctional facility, which is meant to refine skills used while on duty as well as to keep up to date on new regulations, procedures and practices.