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Become A Booking Officer

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Working As A Booking Officer

  • Getting Information
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others
  • Documenting/Recording Information
  • Deal with People

  • Unpleasant/Angry People

  • Unpleasant/Hazardous Environment

  • Repetitive

  • $77,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Booking Officer Do

Correctional officers are responsible for overseeing individuals who have been arrested and are awaiting trial or who have been sentenced to serve time in jail or prison. Bailiffs, also known as marshals or court officers, are law enforcement officers who maintain safety and order in courtrooms. Their duties, which vary by location, include enforcing courtroom rules, assisting judges, guarding juries, delivering court documents, and providing general security for courthouses.

Duties

Correctional officers typically do the following:

  • Enforce rules and keep order within jails or prisons
  • Supervise activities of inmates
  • Aid in rehabilitation and counseling of prisoners
  • Inspect facilities to ensure that they meet security and safety standards
  • Search inmates for contraband items
  • Report on inmate conduct¬†

Inside the prison or jail, correctional officers enforce rules and regulations. They maintain security by preventing disturbances, assaults, and escapes. They must also ensure the whereabouts of all inmates at all times.

On any given day, officers search inmates for contraband, such as weapons and drugs, settle disputes between inmates, and enforce discipline. Officers enforce regulations through effective communication and the use of progressive sanctions, which involve punishments such as loss of privileges. Sanctions are progressive in that they start out small for a lesser offense but become more severe for more serious offenses. In addition, officers may aid inmates in their rehabilitation by scheduling work assignments, counseling, and educational opportunities.

Correctional officers inspect facilities periodically. They check cells and other areas for unsanitary conditions, contraband, signs of a security breach (such as tampering with window bars and doors), and any other evidence of violations of the rules. Officers also inspect mail and visitors for prohibited items. They write reports and fill out daily logs detailing inmate behavior and anything else of note that occurred during their shift.

Correctional officers may have to restrain inmates in handcuffs and leg irons to escort them safely to and from cells and to see authorized visitors. Officers also escort prisoners between the institution where they are held and courtrooms, medical facilities, and other destinations.

Correctional officers must report any inmate who violates the rules. If a crime is committed within their institution or an inmate escapes, they help law enforcement authorities investigate and search for the escapee.

Because prisoners typically stay longer in state and federal prisons than in county jails, correctional officers in prisons get to know the people in their charge.

Correctional officers have no law enforcement responsibilities outside their place of work.

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How To Become A Booking Officer

Correctional officers go through a training academy and then are assigned to a facility for on-the-job training. Although qualifications vary by state and agency, all agencies require a high school diploma. Bailiff positions also require a high school diploma. Federal agencies may also require some college education or previous work experience.

Correctional officers must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents, and must have no felony convictions. Many agencies establish a minimum age for correctional officers, which is typically between 18 and 21 years of age. New applicants for federal corrections positions must be appointed before they are 37 years old.

Education

Correctional officers must have at least a high school diploma or equivalent. Some state and local corrections agencies require some college credits. Law enforcement or military experience may be substituted for this requirement.

For employment in federal prisons, the Federal Bureau of Prisons requires entry-level correctional officers to have at least a bachelor's degree; 3 years of full-time experience in a field providing counseling, assistance, or supervision to individuals; or a combination of the two.

Training

Federal, state, and some local departments of corrections, as well as some private corrections companies, provide training for correctional officers based on guidelines established by the American Correctional Association (ACA). Some states have regional training academies that are available to local agencies. Academy trainees receive instruction in a number of subjects, including self-defense, institutional policies, regulations, operations, and custody and security procedures. Although most correctional officers do not carry firearms when on duty, they may receive training in the use of firearms.

After formal academy instruction, state and local correctional agencies provide on-the-job training, including training on legal restrictions and interpersonal relations. Trainees typically receive several weeks or months of training under the supervision of an experienced officer. However, on-the-job training varies widely from agency to agency.

New federal correctional officers must undergo 200 hours of formal training within the first year of employment, including 120 hours of specialized training at the Federal Bureau of Prisons residential training center. Experienced officers receive annual inservice training to keep up to date on new developments and procedures.

Correctional officers who are members of prison tactical response teams are trained to respond to disturbances, riots, hostage situations, and other dangerous circumstances. Team members practice disarming prisoners, wielding weapons, and using other tactics to maintain the safety of inmates and officers alike.

Bailiffs must undergo training in court procedures and the proper way to place someone under arrest, and they may also learn how to use a firearm.

Other Experience

Military experience is viewed as excellent preparation for becoming a correctional officer.

Advancement

Qualified officers may advance to the position of correctional sergeant. Sergeants are responsible for maintaining security and directing the activities of other officers. Qualified officers may also be promoted to supervisory or administrative positions, including warden. Officers sometimes transfer to related jobs, such as probation officers and correctional treatment specialists.

Important Qualities

Good judgment. Correctional officers and bailiffs must use both their training and common sense to quickly determine the best course of action and to take the necessary steps to achieve a desired outcome.

Interpersonal skills. Correctional officers and bailiffs must be able to interact and communicate effectively with inmates and others to maintain order in correctional facilities and courtrooms.

Negotiating skills. Correctional officers must be able to assist others in resolving differences in order to avoid conflict.

Physical strength. Correctional officers and bailiffs must have the strength to physically subdue inmates or others.

Self-discipline. Correctional officers must control their emotions when confronted with hostile situations.

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Booking Officer Career Paths

Booking Officer
Police Officer Officer Manager
Operations Director
9 Yearsyrs
Police Officer Officer Supervisor
Program Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Police Officer Driver Foreman
Project Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Security Officer Technician Team Leader
Operations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Security Officer Officer Manager
Area Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Security Officer Technician Maintenance Supervisor
Facilities Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Logistics Management Specialist Logistics Analyst Logistics Manager
Supply Chain Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Logistics Management Specialist Logistics Analyst
Logistics Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Logistics Management Specialist Logistics Analyst Operations Manager
Chief Operating Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Logistics Officer Company Commander Platoon Leader
Operations Officer
5 Yearsyrs
Logistics Officer Company Commander Team Leader
Warehouse Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Logistics Officer Project Officer Project Manager
Executive Director
10 Yearsyrs
Supply Specialist Correction Officer Investigator
Security Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Supply Specialist Logistics Specialist Operation Supervisor
Site Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Supply Specialist Buyer Operations Manager
Logistics Operations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Detention Officer Lieutenant Platoon Leader
Transportation Officer
5 Yearsyrs
Detention Officer Investigator Program Manager
Deputy Director
9 Yearsyrs
Detention Officer Safety Officer Operations Officer
Chief Deputy
8 Yearsyrs
Non-Commissioned Officer Team Leader Director
Division Director
9 Yearsyrs
Non-Commissioned Officer Production Supervisor Material Manager
Material Project Manager
8 Yearsyrs
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Top Skills for A Booking Officer

  1. Property Book Officer
  2. Inmate Population
  3. Accountable Property
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Perform duties as a logistics management leader and accountability officer while serving as a Battalion Property Book Officer and Logistics Manager.
  • Maintained inmate populations nourishment and hygiene.
  • Identified, analyzed and resolved problems or issues associated with accountable property and asset management from cradle-to-grave.
  • Ensured that proper distribution and inventory procedures were followed with total accuracy.
  • Analyze and evaluate complex logistics challenges recommending solutions within established policies and guidelines and execute approved operations to meet mission requirements.

Booking Officer Demographics

Gender

Male

50.8%

Female

39.4%

Unknown

9.7%
Ethnicity

White

58.4%

Black or African American

16.2%

Hispanic or Latino

15.7%

Asian

6.3%

Unknown

3.3%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

64.3%

Swedish

7.1%

French

7.1%

Carrier

7.1%

Dakota

7.1%

Thai

7.1%
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Booking Officer Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

13.9%

Central Texas College

10.2%

Ashford University

7.2%

University of Maryland - University College

7.2%

Liberty University

6.0%

Jackson State University

5.4%

Excelsior College

4.8%

Strayer University

4.8%

Defense Acquisition University

4.2%

American University

4.2%

Columbia Southern University

3.6%

Alcorn State University

3.6%

Anne Arundel Community College

3.6%

Kaplan University

3.6%

Saint Leo University

3.6%

University of Southern Mississippi

3.0%

Columbus State University

3.0%

Grantham University

3.0%

East Central Community College

2.4%

Grambling State University

2.4%
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Majors

Business

23.8%

Criminal Justice

22.0%

Supply Chain Management

7.5%

General Studies

6.9%

Management

5.9%

Psychology

4.6%

Nursing

3.0%

Education

2.8%

Medical Assisting Services

2.8%

Accounting

2.8%

Liberal Arts

2.6%

Law Enforcement

2.2%

Communication

1.8%

Political Science

1.8%

Information Technology

1.8%

Medical Technician

1.8%

Health Care Administration

1.6%

Human Resources Management

1.6%

Sociology

1.6%

Criminology

1.4%
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Degrees

Bachelors

34.2%

Other

33.3%

Associate

14.6%

Masters

10.1%

Certificate

5.0%

Diploma

2.0%

Doctorate

0.7%

License

0.1%
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