Oklahoma Corrections Officer Job Description

There are almost 2,500 inmates under the supervision of the Federal Bureau of Prisons in Oklahoma as of 2013.  These inmates are found in the medium security Federal Correctional Institution in El Reno, the attached minimum security prison camp and the Federal Transfer Center in Oklahoma City which houses male and female inmates transitioning to permanent incarceration.

The Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections supervises all corrections operations in the state, which includes 15 state-run correctional institutions, one reformatory, one state penitentiary, six community corrections facilities and 14 work centers. There are also employment opportunities for those seeking a correctional officer job at one of six private prisons in the state of Oklahoma, although they do not have the exact same employment requirements as the state-run institutions.

The prison population of Oklahoma is very interesting because it has the highest rate of female inmates in the country per capita, and also has one of the highest rates of elderly inmates in the country. Oklahoma is also one of the few states in which the prison population has increased over the last five years, countering the trend seen in the rest of the country.

Corrections Officer Duties in Oklahoma

Correctional officer jobs in Oklahoma involve keeping correctional facilities safe for the public, the inmates and the state employees working inside of them. In order to do this, corrections officers must perform the following duties:

  • Search inmates and their sleeping quarters
  • Transport inmates inside the facility and outside the facility
  • Use emergency management and CPR skills when necessary
  • Patrol and survey all aspects of the facility
  • Operates security equipment
  • Prepares reports and documents as needed
  • Responds to riots and other dangerous situations when they occur

Basic Requirements and Qualifications

Federal Correctional Officers

The Federal Bureau of Prisons requires that correctional officers possess the following qualifications:

  • Be a U.S. citizen
  • Be 21 years of age or older, but no older than 36
  • Have good moral character without any serious criminal convictions
  • Possess a financial history without any serious improprieties
  • Have the ability to perform the following tasks
    • Drag a 75 pound dummy across 694 feet within three minutes
    • Climb 108 steps carrying a 20 pound weight in 45 seconds
    • Complete an obstacle course in 58 seconds
    • Run a quarter mile and handcuff an individual in two minutes, 35 seconds
    • Climb a ladder and grasp an object in 7 seconds

Federal correctional officers are classified as GS-5 or GS-6 upon hiring. GS-5 officers possess these qualifications:

  • Have a bachelor’s degree; or
  • Have three years of experience in counseling, teaching, emergency response, security or management

GS-6 officers should have these qualifications:

  • At least nine semester hours of graduate study in law, social science or criminal justice; or
  • One year of full time experience in
    • Law enforcement
    • Mental health treatment
    • Corrections/detentions

Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections

Applicants seeking a correctional officer job in Oklahoma are given special consideration during the hiring process if they have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university, as recognized by the state. Also, those with military experience are also given preference over other applicants during the initial stages of the hiring process.

In order to perform the stressful duties listed above, applicants must be able to meet a basic set of requirements and qualifications for the correctional officer position. The requirements and qualifications are as follows:

  • Must be a United States citizen
  • Must have a valid drivers license
  • Must be willing to relocate across the state as needed
  • Must pass a criminal background check (no felonies or serious misdemeanors)
  • Must be in good physical condition and of high moral character
  • Must have at least a high school diploma, GED or an equivalent level of education
  • Must be at least 20 years of age

Certification and Training

Federal correctional officers must complete 200 hours of training prior to active duty.  This includes 80 hours of orientation at the assigned correctional facility and 120 hours of instruction at the Staff Training Academy in Glynco, GA.  Academy preparation will include instruction in

  • Vehicle operation
  • Witness security
  • Policies and procedures
  • Firearms
  • Marksman observer
  • Self-defense

All correctional officer recruits are required to get certification from the Council of Law Enforcement Education and Training department prior to full-time employment. The certification is obtained by attending the training academy for correctional officers, which requires the completion of 80 hours of training during the first year of employment with the Oklahoma Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections. Additional on-the-job training will take place as well during the first year of employment and beyond.

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