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Become A Corrections Deputy

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Working As A Corrections Deputy

  • 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

  • $88,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Corrections Deputy 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 Corrections Deputy

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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Corrections Deputy Career Paths

Corrections Deputy
Security Officer Officer
Senior Officer
5 Yearsyrs
Security Officer Officer Transportation Security Officer
Lead Transportation Security Officer
6 Yearsyrs
Security Officer Driver Officer
Transportation Security Officer
5 Yearsyrs
Police Officer Loss Prevention Officer Security Supervisor
Security Director
10 Yearsyrs
Police Officer Adjunct Instructor Program Manager
Deputy Director
9 Yearsyrs
Police Officer Emergency Medical Technician Security Supervisor
Security Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Deputy Investigator Security Supervisor
Security Site Supervisor
6 Yearsyrs
Deputy Investigator Security Manager
Assistant Director Of Security
7 Yearsyrs
Deputy Lieutenant Platoon Leader
Transportation Officer
5 Yearsyrs
Deputy Sheriff Police Sergeant Police Captain
Chief Of Police
10 Yearsyrs
Deputy Sheriff Loss Prevention Officer Site Supervisor
Lead Security Officer
5 Yearsyrs
Deputy Sheriff Investigator Security Manager
Chief Of Security
8 Yearsyrs
Patrol Officer Safety Officer Environmental Health Safety Manager
Manager, Security And Safety
9 Yearsyrs
Correctional Sergeant Correctional Officer Captain
Warden
6 Yearsyrs
Patrol Officer Loss Prevention Officer Lead Security Officer
Security, Shift Supervisor
5 Yearsyrs
Patrol Deputy Sheriff Detective Lieutenant
Court Security Officer
10 Yearsyrs
Patrol Deputy Sheriff Detective Criminal Investigator
Federal Air Marshal
10 Yearsyrs
Patrol Officer Lieutenant Senior Corrections Officer
Correctional Supervisor
5 Yearsyrs
Sergeant Senior Instructor Chief Petty Officer
Chief Product Officer
6 Yearsyrs
Detective Security Specialist Security Assistant
Senior Security Officer
5 Yearsyrs
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Corrections Deputy Demographics

Gender

Male

61.8%

Female

29.2%

Unknown

9.0%
Ethnicity

White

64.3%

Black or African American

13.4%

Hispanic or Latino

12.9%

Asian

6.1%

Unknown

3.4%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

78.9%

Dakota

5.3%

German

5.3%

Carrier

5.3%

Japanese

5.3%
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Corrections Deputy Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

18.0%

The Academy

11.4%

University of Memphis

9.0%

Kaplan University

5.4%

Capella University

5.4%

Grand Canyon University

5.4%

Indian River State College

4.2%

Strayer University

4.2%

Walden University

3.6%

Southwest Tennessee Community College

3.6%

Remington College

3.6%

Eastern Florida State College

3.6%

Tiffin University

3.0%

Ashford University

3.0%

Delgado Community College

3.0%

Clackamas Community College

3.0%

University of Louisiana at Lafayette

3.0%

Ashworth College

3.0%

Brevard Community College

2.4%

Southeastern Louisiana University

2.4%
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Majors

Criminal Justice

45.7%

Business

11.7%

Law Enforcement

8.5%

General Studies

4.3%

Law

3.2%

Psychology

3.1%

Education

2.5%

Nursing

2.3%

Medical Technician

2.2%

Public Administration

1.8%

Sociology

1.8%

Accounting

1.8%

Criminology

1.6%

Human Services

1.6%

Fire Science And Protection

1.4%

Medical Assisting Services

1.4%

Homeland Security

1.4%

Computer Science

1.3%

Mental Health Counseling

1.3%

Management

1.1%
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Degrees

Other

36.7%

Bachelors

26.0%

Associate

16.8%

Masters

10.2%

Certificate

7.2%

Doctorate

1.4%

Diploma

0.9%

License

0.8%
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Top Skills for A Corrections Deputy

  1. Correctional Facility
  2. Safe Environment
  3. Custody
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Worked within a minimum to medium adult correctional facility that housed over 300 inmates of varying criminal methodologies.
  • Maintained a safe environment for medical and booking staff.
  • Placed individuals in protective custody.
  • Informed inmates and visitors of rules, safety and security procedures and responsibilities.
  • Designed and implemented computerized tracking of inmate population as well as use and utilization of computerized intake and release of inmates.

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