Hawaii Corrections Officer Job Description

The Federal Bureau of Prisons operates a Federal Detention Center in Honolulu.   This facility houses male and female inmates who are awaiting trial, deportation, or transfer to another correctional facility.  In 2013, FDC held a population of 638.

Hawaii’s Department of Corrections continues to work to fill the more than 300 vacancies that have resulted due to increased demand. In FY2012, 118 new adult corrections officers were hired; in FY2011 there were 132 new hires; and in FY2010, there were 96 new hires. The felon population in Hawaii, as of June 2011, was 2,879.

Detention Facilities in Hawaii

Corrections in Hawaii are part of the Department of Public Safety, Corrections Division, which oversees all jails and prisons, including:

Mainland and Federal Detention Center (FDC)

  • Red Rock Correctional Center
  • Saguaro Correctional Center


  • Women’s Community Correctional Center
  • Waiawa Correctional Facility
  • Halawa Correctional Facility


  • Oahu Community Correctional Center
  • Maui Community Correctional Center
  • Kauai Community Correctional Center
  • Hawaii Community Correctional Center

How to Pursue Corrections Officer Jobs in Hawaii

Federal Bureau of Prisons

The minimum requirements to become a federal correctional officer at the GS-5 level are

  • Be a U.S. citizen
  • Be between 20 and 37 years of age
  • Have no felony or misdemeanor convictions
  • Have no history of serious financial delinquency
  • Have a bachelor’s degree; or
  • Have at least three years of experience in
    • Teaching
    • Counseling
    • Sales
    • Security
    • Management
    • Religious instruction
Sponsored Content

Applicants with one or more of the following qualifications may join the BOP at the GS-6 pay grade:

  • Nine semester hours of graduate study in
    • Social science
    • Criminology
    • Law
  • One year of experience in
    • Law enforcement
    • Corrections
    • Mental health treatment

The salary range for GS-5 employees is between $31,315 and $40,706, while the salary range for GS-6 employees is between $34,907 and $45,376.Applicants may find correctional job openings at www.USAJobs.gov and submit applications online.

New federal correctional officers must complete training through the Federal Bureau of Prisons.  The initial phase of training is conducted at the federal facility an officer is assigned. This 80 hour orientation is followed by a three week, 120 hour training program held at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Academy in Glynco, GA.  During this program, new hires will learn about firearms, self-defense, and correctional policies and procedures.

Hawaii’s Department of Corrections

According to the Department of Corrections, individuals interested in pursuing correctional officer jobs in Hawaii must have good, moral character; they must have strong, interpersonal skills; they must be able to interact with a diverse group of people; and they must be able to effectively communicate, both orally and in written form.

All candidates for corrections officer jobs in Hawaii must:

  • Be a United States citizen
  • Possess a high school diploma or GED
  • Possess a valid driver’s license

Further, all candidates must undergo a drug screening and a thorough background investigation as part of the pre-employment process.

The Department only accepts applications when an open position is listed on Hawaii’s Civil Service Career Opportunities website. Individuals may apply for correctional officer jobs in Hawaii using this website, as well.

Upon being hired as a correctional officer in Hawaii, learning how to become a correctional officer through training involves completing 384 hours of training, which involves a strict program developed by the Training and Staff Development (TSD) Office. The TSD is responsible for planning, implementing, coordinating, and developing all programs related to pre-service and in-service training for both uniformed and civilian personnel within the Department of Corrections.

About Hawaii’s Correctional Facilities

Individuals seeking correctional officer jobs in Hawaii should know that the Institutions Division of the Department of Corrections includes all jails and prison, as well as the Mainland and Federal Detention Center (FDC) Branch.

There are jails located on each major island, and the jails consist of both male and female inmates.

The Hawaii prison system includes:

  • Hawaii Community Correctional Center (HCCC) – Serves pretrial, sentenced jail and sentenced furlough inmates
  • Kauai Community Correctional Center (KCCC) – The only correctional facility on the Island of Kauai; average daily headcount of 180
  • Maui Community Correctional Center (MCCC) – The only correctional facility serving Maui County (including the Islands of Molokai and Lanai); average daily headcount of 365
  • Oahu Community Correctional Center (OCCC) – Largest jail in the State of Hawaii; houses dual populations of pretrial detainees and sentenced mail offenders; accommodated 1,271 inmates in FY2012
  • Halawa Correctional Facility (HCF) – Comprised of two facilities: Special Needs Facility and the Medium Security Facility; average daily population of 1,023 in FY2012
  • Waiawa Correctional Facility (WCF) – Minimum security facility capable of housing 334 adult male sentenced felons
  • Women’s Community Correctional Center (WCCC) – Only all-female facility in Hawaii; facility consists of four structures

Mainland and Federal Detention Center (FDC) Branch – Oversees and monitors State contracts with private, mainland prisons:

  • Red Rock Correctional Center (Eloy, Arizona) – Housed 51 Hawaii male inmates as of FY2012
  • Saguaro Correctional Center (Eloy, Arizona) – Housed 1,626 Hawaii male inmates as of June 2012; serves as a program-intensive facility for general population inmates

Corrections Officer Salary in Hawaii

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median correctional officer salary in Hawaii as of 2012 was $46,900.

The Hawaii Department of Corrections furnished correctional officer salary data as it is paid in tiers throughout the career of officers of various ranks:

Adult Corrections Officer Recruit:

  • Step 1: $40,164
  • Step 2: $41,760
  • Step 3: $43,404
  • Step 4: $45,108
  • Step Z1: $46,932
  • Step Z2: $48,948

Adult Corrections Officer III:

  • Step 1: $43,404
  • Step 2: $45,108
  • Step 3: $46,932
  • Step 4: $48,948
  • Step Z1: $50,904
  • Step Z2: $53,040

Adult Corrections Officer IV:

  • Step 1: $48,948
  • Step 2: $50,904
  • Step 3: $55,320
  • Step 4: $57,660
  • Step Z1: $60,072
  • Step Z2: $62,676

Adult Corrections Officer V:

  • Step 1: $55,320
  • Step 2: $57,660
  • Step 3: $60,072
  • Step 4: $62,676
  • Step Z1: $65,388
  • Step Z2: $68,292

Adult Corrections Officer VI:

  • Step 1: $57,660
  • Step 2: $60,072
  • Step 3: $62,676
  • Step 4: $65,388
  • Step Z1: $68,292
  • Step Z2: $71,184

Adult Corrections Officer VII:

  • Step 1: $60,072
  • Step 2: $62,676
  • Step 3: $65,388
  • Step 4: $68,292
  • Step Z1: $71,184
  • Step Z2: $74,364

The following are the annual salary figures of correctional officers in Hawaii according to the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics:

Area name
Annual mean wage
Honolulu HI
Hawaii / Maui / Kauai nonmetropolitan area

Honolulu, Hawaii Corrections Officer Job Description

As of June 2011, there were 2,879 male inmates and 364 female inmates housed in Hawaii’s correctional institutions.

Corrections in Hawaii are overseen by the Institutions Division of the Department of Public Safety (DPS). The Institutions Division consists of all jails and prisons, as well as the Mainland Branch, which includes two prisons in Arizona.

Sponsored Content

Unlike most states, Hawaii’s community correctional centers (jails) are managed by the state and not the counties in which they are located. Hawaii has four prisons, which are referred to as correctional facilities.

How to Become a Federal Correctional Officer in Honolulu, Hawaii

Corrections officer jobs in Honolulu, Hawaii, may also be obtained at the Federal Bureau of Prisons, as the federal correctional institution of FDC (Federal Detention Center) Honolulu is located here.

The Honolulu FDC, which has an inmate population of 654 (as of June 2013), is an administrative facility that houses both male and female inmates.

A federal corrections officer job description, however, looks distinctly different from a state corrections officer job description. Candidates must be no older than 37, unless they have previous experience working for the federal government in a civil service capacity. They must also possess one of the following education/experience requirements:

  • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university; OR
  • At least 3 years of experience working in a position where one or more of the following job duties were demonstrated:
    • Teaching/instructing others
    • Managing or supervision others
    • Persuasively selling products or services
    • Responding to emergency situations
    • Counseling others

How to Become a State Correctional Officer in Honolulu, Hawaii

Because the state manages prisons (correctional facilities) and jails (community correctional centers), individuals interested in learning how to become a correctional officer in Honolulu must apply through the Department of Public Safety.

However, before applying for corrections officer jobs, individuals should first determine if they meet the minimum requirements established by the Department of Public Safety. Candidates must:

  • Pass a comprehensive background character reference check
  • Possess a high school diploma or GED
  • Possess at least one year of work experience that reflects their ability to follow instructions, work well with others, and communicate effectively, both written and orally
  • Possess a valid driver’s license

Further, candidates who have four-year degree from an accredited school with a major in the following may qualify for more advanced positions:

  • Counseling
  • Criminal Justice
  • Psychology
  • Sociology
  • A related behavioral science

Individuals with a degree from an accredited community college with a criminal justice degree may also fulfill the requirements for entry-level corrections officer jobs in Hawaii.

Hawaii’s Jails and Prisons

The Department of Public Safety oversees the following jails in Hawaii (there is one jail located on each major island):

  • Hawaii Community Correctional Center
    • 226-bed facility that operates out of two sites
  • Oahu Community Correctional Center
    • Largest jail facility in Hawaii
    • 950-bed capacity
  • Kauai Community Correctional Center
    • Houses pre-trial detainees
  • Maui Community Correctional Center
    • 130-bed facility

The Department also oversees the following three prisons:

  • Halawa Correctional Facility
    • Newest and largest prison in the State of Hawaii
  • Women’s Community Correctional Center
    • Only women’s prison in Hawaii
    • Services pre-trail and sentenced offenders
  • Waiawa Correctional Facility
    • 334-bed minimum security prison

In addition, Hawaii also operates two correctional centers on the Mainland, both of which serve overflow detainees:

  • Red Rock Correctional Center: Eloy, Arizona
  • Saguaro Correctional Center: Eloy Arizona

Oahu, Hawaii Corrections Officer Job Description

The State of Hawaii, Department of Public Safety, Corrections Division oversees three prisons on the Island of Oahu:

Women’s Community Correctional Center (WCCC): The Women’s Community Correctional Center in Kailua, Hawaii, is the only women’s prison in Hawaii. This correctional facility serves both pre-trail and sentenced offenders of minimum, medium, and maximum levels of custody.

The WCCC offers a number of unique programs for its women inmates:

  • Ke Alauala, a substance abuse therapeutic community program
  • A cognitive-based curriculum
  • Parenting and educational classes
  • Domestic violence treatment
  • Day reporting and electronic monitoring programs
  • Project Bridge, a program designed to help female inmates transition back to society through education, employment, and substance abuse after-care treatment.

Waiawa Correctional Facility (WCF): The Waiawa Correctional Facility, located in Waipahu, Hawaii, is a minimum-security prison for male inmates. It has an inmate capacity of 334. All inmates of the WCF participate in education or substance abuse treatment programs. Other inmate programs include:

  • KASHBOX, an intensive, residential substance abuse treatment program for inmates with serious substance abuse problems
  • Supporting Keiki of Incarcerated Parents, a pilot program designed to help male inmates with substance abuse problems become better fathers; includes parenting groups, as well as structured playgroups and reading activities for their children
  • General education programs that allow inmates to work toward an associate of arts degree

Halawa Correctional Facility: The Halawa Correctional Facility, located in Aiea, Hawaii, consists of two facilities: a medium-security facility and a special needs facility.

The special needs facility houses both close-custody and maximum-custody inmates who suffer from severe/chronic mental illness and who can therefore not be placed in the general population. This facility also accommodates inmates who require protective custody.

The medium-security facility serves as the State of Hawaii’s newest and largest prison. To prevent overcrowding, about 1,900 inmates from the Halawa Correctional Facility are housed in contracted facilities located in Arizona.

The Halawa Correctional Facility provides a number of programs for its inmates, including substance abuse treatment programs, sex offender treatment programs, and education classes.

How to Become a Correctional Officer in Oahu, Hawaii

Minimum Requirements for Employment

The Department of Public Safety, Corrections Division sets forth the requirements for State correctional officer jobs. Therefore, individuals who want to become correctional officers in Oahu must be able to meet the Division’s minimum requirements for employment, which include:

  • Must possess a high school diploma or the equivalent (one year of work experience requiring the ability to read, write, comprehend and apply written directions may be substituted for a high school diploma)
  • Must possess at least one year of work experience that clearly displays the applicant’s ability to relate with people, provide instructions, and/or effectively give or exchange information
  • Must possess a valid driver’s license

Candidates who have completed a course of post-secondary education may enjoy a competitive advantage over candidates without a college degree. As such, individuals seeking a career in corrections often choose to pursue a degree directly related to the profession:

  • Criminal justice
  • Criminology
  • Justice administration
  • Sociology
  • Psychology
Sponsored Content

The Testing/Employment Process

Each phase of the employment process involves passing “successive hurdles.” In other words, applicants must pass each phase of the employment process before moving onto the next. The test phases are as follows:

  • Interview with the Department of Public Safety
  • Criminal history heck and background investigation
  • Medical/physical examination
  • Pre-employment drug test
  • Basic Correctional Training program
  • Nine-month probationary period
  • Physical Ability Test (PAT): A continuous, timed event involving the completion of the following:
    • Sprinting 125 yards
    • Dragging a 178-pound dummy 20 feet
    • Carrying a 25-pound backpack 85 feet, including up and down a flight of steps
    • Pushing a 138-pound object 25 feet
    • Sprinting 25 feet across the finish line

Back to Top