Correctional Officers and Jailers

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Also known as:  Certified Detention Deputy, Convict Guard, Correction Officer, Correctional Guard, Correctional Sergeant, Detention Deputy, Detention Officer, Jail Guard, Juvenile Corrections Officer, Penal Officer

ABOUT CORRECTIONAL OFFICER OR JAILER CAREERS

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT Expand
Correctional officers ensure the security and safety of our nation's correctional facilities at the local, state, and federal levels. They are the men and women who are responsible for guarding people who have been arrested or who have been convicted of a crime and sentenced to serve time in a corre ...
ctional institution.

Duties include supervising inmate activities and maintaining good order, searching prisoners and their cells for weapons, drugs, or other items that may be forbidden, and occasionally breaking up fights between prisoners. Officers must even be prepared to respond to riots or hostage situations. Strength, good judgment, and the ability to think and act quickly are indispensable, while strength of character may be the most important personal trait of all.

Correctional officers have a great deal of power over the lives of inmates, so they must have the ability to be firm and fair at all times. A prison environment can be stressful and demanding; nevertheless, with integrity, communication skills, and the ability to keep pressure situations under control, correctional officers will continue to be key to the effective operation of our nation's prison system.
SNAPSHOT Expand
Guard inmates in penal or rehabilitative institutions in accordance with established regulations and procedures. May guard prisoners in transit between jail, courtroom, prison, or other point. Includes deputy sheriffs and police who spend the majority of their time guarding prisoners in correctional institutions.
Leadership
HIGH
Critical decision making
HIGH
Level of responsibilities
HIGH
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
HIGH
Dealing and handling conflict
HIGH
Competition for this position
LOW
Communication with others
HIGH
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
HIGH
Comfort of the work setting
HIGH
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
LOW
Exposure to job hazards
LOW
Physical demands
LOW
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DAILY TASKS Expand
Participate in required job training.
Investigate crimes that have occurred within an institution, or assist police in their investigations of crimes and inmates.
Guard facility entrances to screen visitors.
Drive passenger vehicles and trucks used to transport inmates to other institutions, courtrooms, hospitals, and work sites.
Conduct fire, safety, and sanitation inspections.
Inspect mail for the presence of contraband.
Take prisoners into custody and escort to locations within and outside of facility, such as visiting room, courtroom, or airport.
Arrange daily schedules for prisoners including library visits, work assignments, family visits, and counseling appointments.
Use weapons, handcuffs, and physical force to maintain discipline and order among prisoners.
Issue clothing, tools, and other authorized items to inmates.
Record information, such as prisoner identification, charges, and incidences of inmate disturbance, and keep daily logs of prisoner activities.
MAIN ACTIVITIES Expand
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
Documenting/Recording Information Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE Expand
Public Safety and Security Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
Law and Government Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
Psychology Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Computers and Electronics Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Customer and Personal Service Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Administration and Management Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Transportation Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
KEY ABILITIES Expand
Problem Sensitivity The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
Speech Clarity The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
Oral Comprehension The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Oral Expression The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Speech Recognition The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
Deductive Reasoning The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
Inductive Reasoning The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
Near Vision The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
TOP SKILLS Expand
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Social Perceptiveness Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Monitoring Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Coordination Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
Persuasion Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
Negotiation Bringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.
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