According to the Maine Statistical Analysis Center, the population of prisons in the state has increased by 20 percent since 2000. As of 2011, there were 2106 prison inmates under the control of the Maine Department of Corrections and its seven adult institutions, despite the crime rate being 16 percent lower than the national crime rate in the US.
Successful correctional officers have a thorough understanding of the psychology and motivation of prisoners, rehabilitation of prisoners, problems in institutional life and the rules and regulations of correctional institutions in the state. Correctional officer jobs in Maine may be located at any of the following adult facilities throughout the state:
- Maine State Prison, Warren
- Maine Correctional Center: Women’s Center, Windham
- Maine Correctional Center, Windham,
- Downeast Correctional Facility, Machiasport
- Charleston Correctional Facility, Charleston
- Bolduc Correctional Facility, Warren
- Southern Maine Reentry Center, Alfred
Fulfill the Prerequisites to Become a Correctional Officer in Maine
Before applying to become a correctional officer in Maine, certain prerequisites must be fulfilled:
- All candidates must graduate with a high school diploma or equivalent.
- All candidates must have a valid Maine driver’s license (or have the ability to obtain a driver’s license in Maine).
- Applicants must receive authorization from their physician stating that they can take the Physical Aptitude Test required of all correctional officers in Maine.
- Applicants must be U.S. citizens or have a legal right to work in the U.S.
- Applicants must be at least 18 years old.
- No experience is necessary in order to become a correctional officer in Maine. However, applicants who have volunteer experience should list that on the application.
The Application Process to Become a Correctional Officer in Maine
When correctional officer jobs are available in Maine, they will be posted at the Maine Department of Corrections Careers Website. A printable application follows each job posting. This application must be completed in its entirety (including any supplemental information that is requested) and submitted to the person/department specified in the posting.
After submitting the application, a thorough background check will be performed on qualified individuals. This check will include motor vehicle records, state and federal criminal history records, and Department of Corrections records. Criminal or juvenile convictions may disqualify candidates from becoming corrections officers in Maine.
Candidates may be contacted for an interview and to schedule the Physical Aptitude Test, for which medical authorization has already been received from each candidate’s physician. The test is usually held at the facility in which the correctional officer job is available. It will consist of a .4 mile run in four minutes or less, and dragging a 150 pound dummy 34 yards. Applicants who pass this test may be hired conditionally as corrections officers in Maine. Hiring is conditional upon passing the training/certification program required by the Maine Department of Corrections.
Training For Correctional Officers in Maine
All new corrections officers in Maine must attend six weeks (240 hours) of classroom training, in addition to on-the-job training, prior to beginning work. Classroom training is held at the Maine Criminal Justice Academy in Vassalboro. The Basic Corrections curriculum includes classes in:
- Introduction to corrections
- Security in corrections
- Safety and emergencies in corrections
- Legal issues in corrections
- Supervision and human relations in corrections
- Special management inmates
After completing the required training, correctional officers in Maine are considered to be certified.
Each year, corrections officers in Maine must complete 40 hours of training to maintain certification.
Corrections Officer Salary in Maine
In 2012, the average correctional officer salary in Maine was reported by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics to be $33,700, which was an average of $16.20 per hour.
Corrections officers in the top ten percent, however, were found to average $39,090 per year.
The Maine Bureau of Human Resources, Department of Administrative & Financial Services has provided the following correctional occupation salaries:
- Step 1: $28,225.60
- Step 2: $29,515.20
- Step 3: $30,742.40
- Step 4: $31,990.40
- Step 5: $33,238.40
- Step 6: $34,236.80
- Step 7: $35,256
- Step 8: $36,670.40
- Step 1: $31,844.80
- Step 2: $33,300.80
- Step 3: $34,756.80
- Step 4: $36,108.80
- Step 5: $37,564.80
- Step 6: $38,688
- Step 7: $39,873.60
- Step 8: $41,475.20
- Step 1: $34,278.40
- Step 2: $35,734.40
- Step 3: $37,481.60
- Step 4: $39,083.20
- Step 5: $41,080
- Step 6: $43,180.80
- Step 7: $44,886.80
- Step 8: $46,675.20
Corrections Unit Manager:
- Step 1: $43,305.60
- Step 2: $45,344
- Step 3: $47,486.40
- Step 4: $49,836.80
- Step 5: $52,187.20
- Step 6: $54,787.20
- Step 7: $56,992
- Step 8: $59,280
The following are corrections officer salaries throughout Maine as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics:
Augusta, Maine Corrections Officer Job Description
Just outside the city of Augusta is the Central Maine Pre-Release Center. Just 30 miles to the east are the Bolduc Correctional Center and Maine State Prison. The Kennebec County Jail also supports several correctional officer jobs in Augusta.
Correctional Facilities in and Around Augusta
Maine State Prison has a capacity of 916 male inmates and usually holds about 900. This facility may house inmates in Supermax, high security, medium, or minimum custody. The Special Management Unit is located here and houses prisoners who are an escape risk or a threat to themselves or others. Maine State Prison offers many rehabilitative programs including individual or group substance abuse counseling, cognitive behavioral psychotherapy, anger management, GED education, and work opportunities through the Maine State Prison Industries Program.
The Bolduc Correctional Center is a minimum security and community correction facility with 222 beds. Almost 65 staff members supervise offenders in the institution and in the community. The Central Maine Pre-Release Center allows prisoners scheduled for release into society may be adequately supervised and prepared for re-entry. The prisoners at this center engage in work crews or work release programs. There are also a variety of educational and behavior modification programs.
The Kennebec County Jail is run by the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office. This 151 bed facility supports programs like the Criminogenic Addiction & Recovery Academy which is a five week program that includes screening, treatment and reentry planning. Another unique program conducted through the Kennebec County Jail is the Kennebec’s Restorative Community Harvest program, which allows inmates to help grow crops for the needy.
Training and Requirements to Become a Correctional Officer in Augusta, Maine
Maine Department of Corrections
Correctional officer jobs in Augusta may be obtained through the Maine Department of Corrections. The starting salary for correctional officers is between $27,140 and $35,260. The only requirements to become a correctional officer in Augusta with the Maine Department of Corrections are a high school diploma or GED certificate, and possession of Maine driver’s license. There are additional standards that must be met to enter the Basic Corrections School which include:
- Be at least 18 years of age
- No felony convictions
- Good moral character
The Basic Corrections Academy provides the instruction required to become certified as correctional officers in Maine. The curriculum includes:
- Principles of security
- Criminal justice system
- Constitutional law
- Inmate classification
- Report writing
- Stress management
Officers must complete the training modules stipulated by the Corrections Advisory Committee each year in order to maintain certification.
Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office
The Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office also offers correctional officer jobs in Augusta, Maine to qualified applicants. The starting salary for these jobs is $24,740. These applicants should possess these features:
- Be 18 years of age or older
- Ability to pass a background check
- Ability to pass physical ability test consisting of
- Sit ups
- Bench press
- Leg press
- Sit and reach
- Stair run
New officers must complete the two-week training program required to certify as correctional officers. After completion of basic training, new officers will be supervised by a Field Training Officer.
Charleston, Maine Corrections Officer Job Description
Charleston, Maine is home to several correctional facilities including the Charleston Correctional Facility and the Southern Maine Re-Entry Center. Maine has the lowest crime rate in the country with only 119.8 crimes per 100,000 residents, but violent crimes have risen almost ten percent from 2004 to 2009. Among the fastest growing prison populations is that of women, which experienced 114 percent increase between 1999 and 2004.
The Charleston Correctional Facility has a capacity of 155 male inmates and typically averages 145 inmates. Inmates are held in minimum custody or community correction. In 2010, this facility admitted 217 inmates while releasing 109. In 2010, 76 prisoners were transferred to higher security facilities, 55 were released after successful completion of their sentences and 20 were sent to lower custody facilities. A staff of 27 correctional officers supervised the inmate population.
The Southern Maine Re-Entry Center is a detention center for women inmates as they transition to society. This facility has accommodations for 64 inmates. Eligible inmates for housing here must have at least one year left on their sentences, demonstrated a commitment to a crime-free lifestyle, and be classified as minimum or community custody. Inmates may participate in GED or college classes, vocational training, and cognitive behavioral programs. Work activities include training canines, grounds maintenance, community agency work, and volunteering; work during the last six months of assignment to SMRC may occur in the community.
How to Become a Correctional Officer in Charleston, Maine
Correctional officer jobs in Charleston, Maine are primarily found with the Maine Department of Corrections. New correctional officers in the MDOC may receive salaries from $27,140 up to $35,260. Officers who are promoted to the rank of lieutenant may receive salaries ranging from $34,278 up to $46,675. The minimum requirements for these jobs are
- Have a high school diploma or GED
- Be 18 years or older
- Possess a valid Maine driver’s license
- No felony or domestic violence convictions
- Ability to pass a drug screen
- Ability to complete the Correctional Officer Certification program
The Maine Department of Corrections has also listed these as important competencies:
- Effectively communicate orally or in writing
- Restrain and transport unruly or violent inmates
- Manage stressful and critical situations
- Reading and math skills
- Observe and detail situations
- Respond quickly and appropriately to emergency situations
- Use computer systems
In order to serve as a Maine correctional officer, new recruits must obtain certification from the Maine Criminal Justice Academy. The Basic Corrections training program consists of sections A, B, C, and D. Section A serves as a facilities and occupational orientation, while Section B introduces basic skills and procedures. Both of these sections are conducted at the correctional facility. Section C is a comprehensive academic curriculum provided by the academy. The first three sections constitute a 160, six week program. Section D is the annual in-service training that is designed by the Corrections Advisory Committee.