Federal correctional officers in Utah may serve at the Community Corrections Management Field Office in Salt Lake City. The responsibilities for correctional officers at this facility may include re-entry services, home detention, adult corrections, juvenile detention or electronic monitoring.
Correctional officers are employed at either one of Utah’s two correctional facilities: the Central Utah Correctional Facility in Gunnison and the Utah State Prison in Draper. The State also contracts with 21 counties to house its inmates in spare county jail cells, giving correctional officers the additional chance to be stationed at these participating facilities. After completing a multi-step hiring process and making it through the correctional officer training academy, officers will be prepared to begin their new careers.
The total incarcerated population in state custody in May of 2013 numbered 7,073 inmates, the highest figure reached in the past year, which will continue to grow if the current trend is maintained. In May 2012 there were 2,460 employees working as correctional officers and jailers in Utah, making an average salary of $39,430 annually.
Requirements for Correctional Officer Jobs
Federal Bureau of Prisons
Federal correctional officers who serve in the Federal Bureau of Prisons must meet these basic requirements:
- Be a U.S. citizen
- Be at least 21 years old but no older than 36
- Have good moral character without a history of serious criminal infractions
- Have a financial history without major delinquencies
- Physically capable of
- Dragging a 75 pound dummy continuously across 694 feet in under three minutes
- Climb a ladder and grab an object in seven seconds
- Run an obstacle course in 58 seconds
- Climb 108 steps while holding a 20 pound weight belt in under 46 seconds
- Run a quarter mile and handcuff a target within two minutes and 35 seconds
Federal correctional officers may begin their careers at the GS-5 or GS-6 pay levels. GS-5 eligibility requirements include:
- Have at least three years of experience in
- Emergency response
- Security; or
- Have a bachelor’s degree
The requirements for GS-6 pay grade are:
- Have at least one year of experience in
- Police work
- Mental illness treatment; or
- Nine semester hours of graduate study in social science, law or criminology
Utah Department of Corrections
Before filling out an application, candidates interested in learning how to become a correctional officer must meet the position’s minimum qualifications:
- U.S. citizen with a valid driver’s license
- Be willing to work any shift from 8-12 hours, at any time, on short notice
- Have exceptional communication skills and the ability to maintain a controlled, humane environment
- Have graduated from high school or obtained a GED
To apply for correctional officer jobs in Utah, candidates should monitor the State’s job vacancy postings for any correctional positions. Applications can be made online through a Department of Workforce Services account or with a candidate’s existing Google, Yahoo, or Facebook account.
After completing an application, candidates who are chosen for further scrutiny will be invited for an interview and may continue in the hiring process with a criminal history and background check, psychological test, and finally corrections training in association with the Police Officers Standards and Training (POST) association.
Federal Law Enforcement Training Academy
New federal correctional officers must complete 200 hours of pre-service training. An 80 hour orientation held at the assigned facility is followed by a three week program at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Academy in Glynco, GA. There new officers will learn
- Witness security
- Bus operations
- Policies and procedures
The Corrections Training Division works with the Department of Public Safety’s POST agency to develop a comprehensive and thorough training program for all new corrections trainees. Before being admitted to the training program, correctional officer trainees must pass an entrance exam that costs $25.00 and is offered at several approved locations throughout the state. Officers must also pass a physical fitness test that includes events in:
- Vertical jump
- 1.5-mile run
After graduating from the corrections academy, officers will be ready to begin their new careers under supervision in a facility-specific on-the-job training program that varies in length depending on the corrections institution.