Roles of Correctional Officers

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Topics: Prison, Penology
Roles of Correctional Officers

Correctional officers play a vital role in the prison system. They are the first line of defense in prisons. They are ultimately responsible for the safety, security, and supervision of inmates that are under their care. They must enforce all the rules and policies that the prison officials emplace in order to maintain good order and discipline. Without correctional officers, prisons would not run and complete ciaos would occur.

Correctional officers and inmates alike, build a close and trusting relationship. With this, the correctional officer does not have to completely trust the inmates, but instead, “they respect the inmate as a man in prison, instead of a criminal who is in prison.” (Stojkovic, S., & Lovell, R. 2013) Correction officers do this in a couple of different ways. The first is allowing inmates to help them complete their responsibilities that are required of the correctional officer. When the guard does this, it in turns, makes the forces the officer to turn his back on less severe rule violations that an inmate might break. By doing this, this helps build the relationship between the official and prisoner, while accomplishing the tasks that they are to accomplish on a daily basis.

Another way that correctional officers build social relationships with prisoners is through the reward system. This is exactly what it sounds like. When officers give the inmates rewards, they gain more control over the population of inmates that are in charge of. But when it comes to rewarding prisoners, officers must know to limit the rewards that are given to inmates. If prison officers reward inmates too much or too little for complying, inmates could see this as a sign of weakness, and use it to their advantage. Prison officers must not let their kindness and respect, be a sign of weakness. They must show the prisoners that they are the authoritative figure in the assigned cellblock.

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