A prison or jail without law and order can be disastrous. You can encounter cases of inmates that fight, struggle for food and authority among themselves. These incidents can lead to a chaotic and harmful environment for the inmates, workers, and visitors. This is where the duty of a correctional officer comes in.
Correctional officers enforce law and order to make the environment safe and free from disturbances. They assign duties or activities to inmates, supervising their daily activities to prevent escape attempts.
These officers are also in charge of making sure there are others and discipline is practiced among inmates.
Duties of a Correctional Officer
Below is a stream down of the duties and responsibilities of a correctional officer
- Inspect the prison facilities, inspect each cell, and ensures sanitation
- Assign and supervise the activities of inmates
- They ensure there are no illegal items such as drugs found in the possession of the inmates.
- They give counseling and rehabilitate crime offenders.
- If there is any case of inmate misconduct, the correctional officers can handle it.
- They make detailed reports on inmate's behavior and document any incident that may have occurred within their shift.
- In cases of stubborn or abnormal inmates, correctional officers may have to restrain prisoners using handcuffs and leg irons.
- Correctional officers are responsible for escorting inmates to and fro to courtrooms, medical facilities, and within the institution.
- In cases of criminal escape, correctional officers help the police department to investigate and search.
What Skills are required for Correctional Officers
Correctional officers need to acquire skills and academic qualifications that allow them to work effectively and complete their job responsibility. As correctional officers, you should know how to enforce rules and ensure these rules are adhered to. You should have the ability to keep the facilities and inmates free from danger.
Here are few skills a correctional officer should acquire
Communication is a suitable means of solving issues. When you speak well, your tone attracts attention and respect from the inmates. Correctional officers should give commands and clear instructions with authority and practical communication skills. This will maintain behavior and a safe environment.
Correctional officers should be committed to their work. This earns respect from the inmates and team and also serves as a medium to motivate others.
A good problem solver develops strategies that will be effective for resolving matters. If you are a correctional officer, you should have the ability to access situations and professional solutions that will benefit everyone involved.
When you find yourself in a difficult situation, you should be able to think and act quickly. Some conditions can put the life of inmates or your team at risk. Responsiveness is essential in an unexpected situation that will help prevent accidents from occurring.
As a correctional officer, the interest of others should be your priority. You should protect and defend the inmates and your staff as needed.
Experiences come in every day of our lives as workers. It's normal for us to make mistakes often. A good correctional officer should quickly pick up corrections and get a lesson from an incident that occurs within the inmates. This will help maintain order in prisons which we all know has its challenges.
How do Correctional Officers Control the Prison Inmates?
Correctional officers are given special training on enforcing rules and regulations that every prisoner is bound to obey. They know how to communicate and put inmates to order effectively. They use mediums such as punishment and the loss of certain privileges. In cases of more severe or continuous incidents, correctional officers may decide to give more severe penalties.
Workplace/Working Facilities of a Correctional Officer
The government assigns most correctional officers. Although some of them can be employed by private companies that provide correctional duties to jails, they work for the government.
The working conditions of correctional officers are not too friendly. They are at high risk of injury from the inmates. However, they can work in an outdoor or indoor environment. Their work facilities are usually well ventilated, have good lighting and controlled temperature. You can also come across facilities that are noisy, overcrowded and quite old.
How do you improve your correctional skills?
To become a better correctional officer, you can improve your skills and acquire more knowledge by
- Practicing communication skills
- Be assertive
- Promote physical fitness
- Encourage and participate in teamwork.
- Open to suggestions and corrections
What do to if your want to be a correctional officer
If you are aspiring to be a correctional officer, you need appropriate training and education qualification. You can obtain these;
- Getting a high school diploma
- You can add a bachelor degree to any 3-year program
- Pass the required entrance examination
- Gain admission into the training academy
- Obtain maximum experience and additional correctional qualifications
Adding up other credentials will help you obtain more responsibility, a promotion, and a higher pay rate.