A Day in the Life of a Correctional Officer

Correctional officers must, at all times, maintain control and order within a correctional facility. However, their specific responsibilities are often much more far-reaching than basic law enforcement duties.

Specific job duties of a correctional officer will, of course, vary depending on the institution in which they work and the security level within the facility. In general, however, corrections officers are called upon to:

  • Escort inmates from the jail to outside destinations, such as court or medical facilities
  • Conduct regular inspections of all doors, locks, and security equipment
  • Conduct searches of inmates, cells, and visitors to ensure contraband is not present
  • Conduct regular inspections of cells and common areas
  • Prepare written reports that detail regulation compliance, work activity, new prisoner admission, and any breeches of security
  • Use proper restraints according to inmate classification and risk
  • Patrol activity in and around the facility, including the outside perimeter and inmate recreation areas
  • Maintain reports on facility activity, including inmate rosters and housing and work assignments
  • Serve meals to prisoners
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  • Provide basic first aid
  • Oversee the distribution of clothing and personal items to inmates and keep record of equipment and supplies within the facility
  • Perform regular checks of prisoners and cells through on-foot patrol and video surveillance monitoring; maintain inmate counts
  • Ensure prisoner conduct is upheld as to maintain control at all times; observe inmate behavior as to thwart possible conflict
  • Assess the risk and needs of prisoners and report findings to direct supervisors
  • Report rule infractions and suspicious behavior to supervisors
  • Serve as role models to inmates and encourage positive behavior
  • Supervise prisoner interaction during recreation periods and meal times
  • Process new prisoners entering the facility
  • Provide case management support to inmates returning to the community