A correctional officer is responsible for the supervision, safety, and security of prisoners in a prison or jail. They are also responsible for the safety and security of the facility itself. In order to accomplish this, they must maintain order by enforcing rules and regulations. Although most Correctional Officers are employed by the government, some are employed by private companies.
A correctional officer must provide custodial care necessary for the security and well being of inmates confined in the jail or prison. Their duties consist of preparing inmates for transport to court appearances, processing new inmates, assisting victim’s advocates, supervising inmate visitation, distributing food to inmates, conducting security checks, overseeing inmate sentence calculation and releases by reviewing court commitments, handling control room operations, and reviewing and verifying inmates trust fund accounts. Their work is performed under the general supervision of a Sergeant, Lieutenant, Warden, or Captain. When I was a correctional officer at a Juvenile Detention Facility and assigned to a pod, I would search an inmate every time they were moved from one location to another. We also searched their living quarters at least one time during a 24 hour period for contraband, like weapons or drugs, or any other evidence of infractions of the rules. We inspected all incoming and outgoing mail for prohibited items and wording as well. We also kept a daily log of all transports and activities of each individual juvenile that was in our custody during our shift, and noted any issues that we might have had so that the officer assigned to the next shift was aware of the incident(s) that we encountered. The work of a correctional officer is highly stressful. “Nationwide, the ratio of inmates-to-correctional officers increased from 4.8 to 1 in 2000 to 5.1 in 2005” (Stephan, 2008). This being said, correctional officers are often supervising people that...
Cited: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition, Correctional Officers, Retrieved March 6, 2011 from http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos156.htm.
Julian E., B. (2000). INTERVIEW; Life as a Jailer. New York Times Book Review, 6. Retrieved March, 7, 2011from EBSCOhost.
Seiter, (2008), Corrections: An Introduction (2nd Edition). New Jersey:Pearson Learning Solutions.
Stephan, James. (2008). Census of State and Federal Correctional Facilities, 2008, US Department of Justice, Retrieved March, 6, 2011 from http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/pub/ascii/csfcf05.txt.
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