Correctional officers have one of the most difficult and demanding jobs in all of law enforcement. Their daily activities put them in direct contact with prison and jail inmates – and require them to perform their duties with the utmost discipline and professionalism.
Before embarking on a career as a corrections officer, it’s important for you to fully understand the scope of work to ensure that it’s a career path you’ll enjoy pursuing.
A day in the life of a corrections officer typically includes…
Monitoring Inmate Conduct – One of the primary jobs of a corrections officer is to supervise inmates and monitor their behavior. Things can get out of hand quickly in a prison environment, and as a corrections officer, it’s your responsibility to watch for behavior that could lead to problems.
Cell Inspections – As a corrections officer, you will perform unannounced inspections of inmate cells from time to time. You’ll be looking for prohibited items such as weapons, drugs, and other contraband.
Screening Visitors – Jail and prison inmates are allowed to receive visitors on occasion, and officers are required to screen these individuals to make sure they are not bringing any prohibited items into the facility. You will also monitor visitors to ensure they do not engage in prohibited or dangerous activates.
Escorting Prisoners – Prisoners sometimes need to leave the prison to visit medical facilities or for court hearings. Officers are responsible for escorting prisoners to these different locations, whether they are inside prison walls or outside the facility itself.
Assigning Work Duties – Often times prisoners are given work responsibilities while serving their sentences. As a corrections officer, you will be tasked with assigning these duties to inmates and making sure that the tasks are carried out thoroughly and according to specific standards. In some cases, you’ll be responsible for certain miscellaneous tasks such as the distribution of personal hygiene items and meal service.
Corrections officers do not perform law enforcement duties, but they are authorized to restrain inmates – with physical force if necessary – in the event an inmate becomes insubordinate or violent.