Ohio is home to three facilities that house federal inmates. The Federal Correctional Institution at Elkton is a low security facility housing 2,434 male inmates. The Correctional Institution North East Ohio Correctional Center is a private facility operated by a contractor and houses 1,507 inmates. There is also a Community Corrections Management Field Office in Cincinnati.
The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections is responsible for overseeing the entire corrections and state prison operations in the state. Over the past three years, Ohio has seen very small decreases in their prison population, but there is still a demand for more correctional officers in the state- especially in the state prisons and correctional facilities that serve the major population areas of Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dayton and Columbus.
In total, there are 28 correctional and rehabilitative institutions in the state of Ohio, which are consist of more than 12,000 employees (most of which are correctional officers) and about 50,000 inmates, according to a 2011 study conducted by Ohio State Justice and Public Safety Systems administration.
Basic Requirements and Qualifications
Federal Correctional Officers
The minimum requirements necessary to join the BOP as a correctional officer are
- Be a U.S. citizen
- No felony or serious criminal convictions
- Pristine financial history
- Be between 20 and 37 years of age
- Physically capable of
- Climb and grasp—ascend a latter and grasp object in 7 seconds
- Dummy drag—drag 75 pound dummy across 694 feet within three minutes
- Obstacle course—to be completed within 58 seconds
- Run and cuff—cross one quarter mile and handcuff a target within 2 minutes and 35 seconds
- Stair climb-traverse 108 steps in 45 seconds while carrying a 20 pound weight
Federal correctional officers may join the BOP with a GS-5 or GS-6 pay level. Minimum requirements for GS-5 includes:
- A bachelor’s degree; or
- At least three years of experience in management, sales, teaching, emergency response, or counseling
Eligibility for GS-6 includes
- One year of service in corrections, detentions, law enforcement, or mentally ill patient care; or
- Nine semester hours of graduate study in social science, law or criminal justice
Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections
While it is not required, if an applicant has an associate’s or bachelor’s degree from an accredited university or college, they will be given preference over other applicants- especially if the degree is in sociology, criminology, criminal justice, psychology or a related field of study. Those with experience in security, military police or law enforcement are also given special consideration during the hiring and recruitment process.
In order to be considered for a correctional officer position in Ohio, a person applying for the job must first meet certain basic criteria. The following are some of the basic requirements and qualifications that must be met in order to move on with the hiring process:
- Must be at least 21 years of age
- Must be a United States citizen
- Must be of good moral character and be able to pass a criminal background check
- Must be in good physical condition
- Must have at least a high school diploma or GED, or an equivalent level of education
- Must have a valid drivers license
- Must be a resident of the state of Ohio
Examinations and Certification
If an applicant is chosen to move on in the hiring process for a job as a correctional officer in Ohio, they will then be asked to complete a series of examinations and tests. All applicants must pass a physical examination as given by the Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections, and must pass a psychological test as well. Recruits will also be given a drug screen and an intensive criminal background check, which also must be passed to move on to the training program. A Civil Service Examination must also be taken, which will grant the recruit certification, which is required to work as a state employee in any capacity.
Federal Correctional Officer Training
The 200 hour training program for federal correctional officers is conducted at the assigned facility and the Federal Law Enforcement Training Academy in Glynco, GA. This instruction includes
- Witness security
- Marksman observer
- Policies and procedures
- Vehicle operations
Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections Training
Correctional officers are required to complete 160 hours of training during their first year of employment. The training is very intensive and will teach recruits all the skills they need in order to work in the pressure-filled environment of a state prison.
After the first year of employment, correctional officers are required to complete 40 hours of additional training each year that they work with the Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections in Ohio.