The different types of correctional officers
The criminal justice system in the United States is a complex system that keeps Americans secure. Corrections, which controls people who are jailed for a variety of offenses, including the most serious criminals on death row, is one of the most essential components of this system.
We rely on the brave individuals who chose to work in the criminal justice system. These personnel are in charge of maintaining order in prisons as well as assisting in the rehabilitation of inmates. When you think of a correctional officer, you might envision a typical jail guard. However, there are several career options available in this sector. Continue reading to learn about some of the differences.
1. General Corrections Officer
We're going to start with the most obvious one. The duty of overseeing people who have been imprisoned is entrusted to a correctional officer. They are in charge of keeping order and safety within the prison walls. Because convicts are known to get aggressive or act out in unpredictable ways, this position is ideal for someone who likes a challenge. In addition to good interpersonal skills, negotiation skills, and the capacity to resolve conflict, aspirant correctional officers should have strong interpersonal skills, negotiation skills, and the ability to resolve conflict if it arises.
Correctional officers, on average, make more than $45,000 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
2. Corrections Counselor
The correctional counselor's job may appeal to people who are more interested in inmate rehabilitation and recovery. A correctional counselor, as the name implies, provides therapy or counseling to individuals who are incarcerated.
The role of a correctional officer involves:
- Writing studies estimating the possibility of an inmate repeating a convicted crime
- Making treatment recommendations
- Preparing convicts for life after prison
- Assisting with post-prison job placement • Assisting with mental health or drug addiction concerns
- Working with certain inmates' families
A correctional counselor may make up to $73,000 per year, according to Payscale.com.
3. Corrections Administrator
In a prison or jail, the position of a correctional administrator combines clerical and leadership abilities. This position is ideal for someone who wants to make a significant influence in the correctional area while also overseeing the institution's entire operations. As a correctional administrator, you may be responsible for budgeting as well as supervising the convicts' safety and daily activities.
4. Probation Officer
A probation officer oversees and supports people who are placed on probation after completing their sentence — or in lieu of it. This is an essential job because it frequently keeps former prisoners in check when they return to civilized life. A probation officer's responsibilities include:
- interviewing parolees and their families and friends to assess progress
- evaluating clients to determine the best course of rehabilitation
- providing valuable tools to former inmates, such as job training
- conducting investigative reports and background checks
- testing former offenders for substance abuse
- writing and updating reports
Some jurisdictions require probation officers to have a bachelor's degree, although this varies by jurisdiction, and many probation officers have obtained other degrees and achieved important work experience before landing their positions.
5. Activities Specialist
Here's a job with "fun" written all over it! The correctional activities specialist's duty is to organize and lead convict leisure programs. Recreational amenities such as gyms, basketball courts, and libraries are also coordinated by them. They may organize activities such as sports, literature groups, and music, among others. These activities are critical for the convicts' physical and emotional well-being.
6. Substance Abuse Counselor
Substance abuse counselors, as the name implies, assist with inmates who are recovering from — or battling with — substance misuse. The criteria for this position vary depending on the prison or state, although many programs allow individuals who have completed high school and have some postsecondary education. This is an excellent role for anybody who has suffered with addiction in the past — or who has had a loved one who has — since they will be able to relate to the convicts better.
7. Juvenile Corrections Officer
Inside a detention institution, juvenile correctional officials supervise the safety and politeness of teenagers (under the age of 18). Corrections personnel must also keep an eye on the health of the detainees because they are minors. Because many of the teenagers who are imprisoned suffer from mental illness, trauma, abuse, and addiction, this work may be demanding. At the same time, as officers supervise children who have made errors but are healing and rehabilitating, this is a very gratifying profession. Many of these young detainees are trying hard to make positive adjustments in their life so that they might have a better future.
8. Local Corrections Officer
Correctional officers serve in a variety of capacities at the municipal, state, and federal levels. In city or county jails, local correctional officials work. A person in jail has recently been arrested, is awaiting trial, or is serving a term of less than one year. A simple guideline to remember is that jail refers to terms of less than a year, whereas prison refers to punishments of more than a year.
Local correctional officers assist local police officers in bringing in people who have recently been arrested, as well as transporting convicts to court hearings, state or federal prisons, and therapy clinics.
9. State Correctional Administrator
A state correctional administrator is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of a state prison. The following are some of the responsibilities:
- Manage money
- Oversee officer training
- Ensure maximum security is maintained at all times
- Follow regulations
- Adjust internal processes as needed
State correctional administrators generally have a criminal justice degree and years of experience as a prisons officer because of the prestige and obligations of this managerial position. A state correctional administrator may earn up to $126,000 per year.
10. Federal Correctional Case Manager
Within the federal prison system, federal correctional case managers deal with convicts (both in groups and individually). They organize and implement programs to assist offenders, ranging from life skills development to counseling services. This is a more senior position that requires a criminal justice degree as well as years of experience in the field of prisons.
Many of the jobs listed above need some level of criminal justice tertiary education. Those who don't have a degree are nonetheless more equipped than those who don't. This is where a criminal justice associate's degree may help.
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