Washington, DC Corrections Officer Job Description

The Federal Bureau of Prisons operates a Community Corrections Management Office as well as the Central Office for the entire CCM program in Washington D.C.  While these community corrections facilities are primarily comprised of administrative staff and community supervision officers, correctional  officers are also on hand to monitor incarcerated juveniles who have been sentenced by federal courts as well some select adult inmates.

The DC Department of Corrections (DOC) operates one of the largest municipal jail systems in the nation. Correctional officers of the DOC supervise an average daily population of 2,322 inmates (as of FY2013) through the Central Detention Facility (commonly referred to as the DC Jail) and the Correctional Treatment Facility (a privately operated facility), both of which are fully accredited by the American Correctional Association.

The DC Department of Corrections had 894 full-time employees in both FY2012 and FY2011 and 837 full-time employees in FY2010.

How to Qualify for Corrections Officer Jobs in Washington, DC

Federal Bureau of Prisons

The eligibility requirements for federal correctional officer jobs in Washington D.C. are

  • Be at least 21 years of age and younger than 37
  • Be a U.S. citizen (Some facilities may waive this requirement if desperate)
  • Be free from crippling financial debts
  • Have no felony or serious misdemeanor convictions
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Federal correctional officers may enter the BOP at the GS-5 or GS-6 pay grades.  The requirements for GS-5 level positions includes

  • Bachelor’s degree in any field; or
  • At least three years of paid, unpaid or volunteer service in one of these areas
    • Teaching
    • Emergency response
    • Religious instruction
    • Sales
    • Management
    • Child care
    • Security

The eligibility requirements for GS-6 jobs include either

  • At least one year of full time paid, unpaid or volunteer service in
    • Corrections
    • Law enforcement
    • Detentions
    • Mental health facility work; or
  • Nine semester hours of graduate study in
    • Law
    • Social science
    • Criminal justice

The salary ranges for GS-5, GS-6 and the terminal pay level for federal correctional officers, GS-7 are

  • General Schedule 5:  $31,315 – $40,706
  • General Schedule 6:  $34,907 – $45,376
  • General Schedule 7:  $38,790 – $50,431

DC Department of Corrections

Candidates interested in pursuing Washington DC correctional officer jobs must be at least 21 years old and must possess a high school diploma or GED. Individuals must also possess a valid driver’s license and have a clear driving record in order to become a correctional officer in Washington. They must also anticipate undergoing a thorough background investigation, drug screening (urinalysis), and medical and psychological exams.

Further, candidates who meet the minimum requirements for corrections officer jobs in Washington DC must pass an entry-level exam and a physical fitness exam. The physical fitness exam includes the following components:

  • Completing 20 to 30 sit-ups in one minute
  • Completing 15 to 25 push-ups in one minute
  • Completing a 1-mile run in under 18 minutes
  • Climbing 3 to 4 flights of stairs dragging a 160-pound dummy
  • Completing pull-ups (for males) or a dead hang (for females)

Washington, DC Correctional Officer Jobs: The Employment Process

The employment process for Washington DC correctional officer jobs is divided into two parts:

Part 1

  • Entry-level exam
  • Physical fitness exam
  • Proof of clear driving record
  • Psychological assessment

Part 2

  • Background investigation
  • Drug/alcohol screening
  • Physical exam
  • Pre-service training

How to Become a Correctional Officer in Washington, DC through Training

New correctional officers in Washington DC must complete 240 hours of Basic Correctional Training (BCT), followed by an additional week of specialized training instruction in the following areas:

  • Youthful Offender
  • Special Management Unit Oversight
  • Mental Health
  • Residential Substance Abuse Treatment

Thereafter, in-service training for correctional officer jobs in Washington DC includes 40 hours on an annual basis.

Correctional Facilities in Washington, DC

Corrections officers in Washington DC may work at one of the city’s two correctional facilities:

Central Detention Facility

The Central Detention Facility, located in Southeast DC, was established in 1976. As of October 2007, the Executive Administration established a population capacity of 2,164. The Central Detention Facility mainly houses inmates who are awaiting the adjudication of their cases or are serving time for misdemeanor offenses. Sentenced felons are transferred to the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

The Central Detention Facility provides a number of programs to inmates, including HIV/AID Prevention; Individual and Group Counseling Services; Street Law; Literacy Education; Mental Health Adjustment; and Anger Management, among others.

Correctional Treatment Facility

The Correctional Treatment Facility (CTF) was established in 1992 as a specialized medium security institution. The institution now consists of five, multi-story buildings, which include housing, programs, services, and administration areas. The institution now serves the Department of Corrections as a medium security institution for both male and female inmates.

Corrections Officer Salary in Washington, DC

According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-2013 Edition, a publication of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median correctional officer salary in Washington, DC during 2012 was $44,360.

Correctional officers in the District of Columbia are paid on a 10-step salary schedule as follows:

Correctional Officer

  • Step 1: $40,235
  • Step 2: $41,302
  • Step 3: $42,369
  • Step 4: $43,436
  • Step 5: $44,503
  • Step 6: $45,570
  • Step 7: $46,637
  • Step 8: $47,704
  • Step 9: $48,771
  • Step 10: $49,838

This salary data for Washington, DC was taken from the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics:

Area name
Annual mean wage
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria DC-VA-MD-WV Metropolitan Division
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria DC-VA-MD-WV
Estimate Not Released

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