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Become A Detention Officer

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Working As A Detention Officer

  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings
  • Getting Information
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
  • Assisting and Caring for Others
  • Unpleasant/Angry People

  • Repetitive

  • $24,630

    Average Salary

What Does A Detention Officer Do At Texas Employer

* Operates security doors.
* Answers telephones.
* Maintains prisoner records for work release, commitment papers and inmates files.
* Performs computer data entry.
* Monitors video/camera security and emergency intercom systems.
* Checks and records incoming/outgoing inmate mail and redirects as required.
* Performs routine patrols of the jail facility to ensure safety and security of inmates.
* Provides services to inmates; delivers meals, laundry, mail and medicines; and escorts inmates to various functions and activities

What Does A Detention Officer Do At Clarke County Sheriff Office

* The following duties are normal for this job.
* These are not to be construed as exclusive or all-inclusive.
* Other duties may be required and assigned.
* Operates G
* C.I
* C./N
* C.I
* C. computer and local criminal justice computer network, CHIEFS computer operations, and jail management system (JMS) computer operations.
* Performs all inmate booking functions; fingerprints and photographs arrestees and inmates.
* Assures security of jail facility by checking all doors and locks, searching new prisoners, and checking visitors for contraband; responsible for security of all electronically controlled jail doors.
* Works the inmate housing and other areas which requires taking head counts; making jail checks; monitoring inmate movement within the facility, visitation and recreational activities, booking area, front gate, and interior of the jail; investigates inmate complaints; writes reports; and distributes and maintains files on inmates and inmate property.
* Works the front control desk or other control desks; maintains daily log of admissions, court appearance and other releases, and other activities occurring during shift.
* Supervises trustees performing work assignments.
* Completes incident reports.
* Performs other related duties as required.
* Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
* Knowledge of the principles, practices and procedures of the county and the operations and functions of the Sheriff's Office.
* Knowledge of jail processes and practices, jail policies, record keeping and other applicable policies and procedures as necessary in the completion of daily responsibilities.
* Knowledge of all bonding procedures, policies, standards and regulations pertaining to the specific duties and responsibilities of the job.
* Knowledge in first aid and CPR.
* Knowledge of computers, G
* C.I
* C. / N
* C.I
* C. and JMS computer operations, and the criminal justice computer network.
* Knowledge of defensive tactics and control techniques to protect self and others.
* Ability to interact with individuals that may have mental health conditions that influence cognitive abilities, and must be able to deal with individuals in a stressful environment that may result in subduing a person who is physically resisting.
* Ability to respond quickly and logically in emergency or stressful situations.
* Ability to understand the special problems of and deal humanely with individuals in confinement.
* Ability to foster a team environment by supporting cohesive work relationships and providing effective conflict resolution.
* Ability to administer policies, procedures, plans and activities.
* Ability to administer operations and staff plans and objectives for the expedience and effectiveness of the specific duties of the position.
* Ability to keep abreast of any changes in policy, methods, operations, budgetary and equipment needs, etc. as they pertain to departmental and operations and activities.
* Ability to effectively communicate and interact with subordinates, management, employees, members of the general public and all other groups involved in the activities of the County as they relate to the Sheriff's Office.
* Ability to assemble information and make written reports and documents in a concise, clear and effective manner.
* Ability to demonstrate appropriate organizational, management, human relations, and technical skills.
* Ability to use independent judgment and discretion in relating to others including the handling of emergency situations, determining and deciding upon procedures to be implemented, setting priorities, maintaining standards, and resolving problems.
* Ability to comprehend, interpret, and apply regulations, procedures, and related information.
* Ability to handle required mathematical calculations.
* Ability to read, understand and interpret personnel and financial reports and related materials.
* Ability to use telephones, copiers, two-way radios, physical restraint methods and related security equipment.
* Supplemental Information:

What Does A Detention Officer Do At Fort Bend County

* Performs hourly inspections of detention area including, but not limited to, catwalks, separations, and hallway areas to maintain security.
* Maintains order within detention area; Supervises daily activities of inmates to ensure safety and health.
* Verifies records and identification of inmates being released and/or booked.
* Performs shakedown of inmates and cells as needed on a non-scheduled but regular basis.
* Supervises work details and monitors progress.
* Verifies arrest documents before accepting prisoners and must be aware of various grades of offenses.
* Monitors programs and activities where inmates interact with outside professionals.
* Assist other agencies with in-house computer systems during booking and with incoming inmates who may be violent.
* Performs upkeep of fire-life safety equipment.
* Operates mechanical security devices.
* Maintains records on activities, incidents, shakedowns and other functions as required.
* Supervises feeding and hygiene of inmates.
* Signs for and is held financially accountable for equipment issued.
* Assists other employees with their duties.
* Functions as in-house bailiff for justice of the peace/magistrate.
* Maintains count of inmates and monitors visitation.
* Enforces rules and regulations of jail and writes reports for disciplinary action charges.
* Participates in activities and duties related to emergency management during a local state of disaster as directed by appropriate county managers

What Does A Detention Officer Do At Hill County

* Pay attention to accuracy and the environment to avoid difficult situations.
* Works with inmates and is exposed to hazards of working with dangerous persons who may be aggressive and hostile.
* Must follow policy and procedures to avoid incidents and legal action.
* May be exposed to communicable diseases.
* Maintains confidentiality of sensitive information.
* Provides for security and safety of inmates within the detention center
* Files and preserves all commitments by which inmates are incarcerated
* Accepts inmates; evaluates and seeks medical treatment if needed
* Books prisoners; searches prisoners and safeguards any inmate property or money
* Fingerprints and photographs each inmate
* Issues bedding, facility clothing and some personal toilet articles
* Provides rules for inmate to follow
* Makes regular visual check of cells
* Takes inmates to and from court; transports inmates to medical treatment
* Supervises visitation days and visits from professional people including attorneys
* Provides food for inmates; does light housekeeping duties; launders bedding and clothing.
* Maintains records of each inmate
* Maintains financial records of inmate funds
* Delivers judicial papers as directed to inmate
* Releases inmates as per court orders or sentence completion
* Fulfills all legitimate orders and commands from supervisory personnel
* Distributes medications to inmates
* Conducts searches of inmates and facility as needed
* Records in writing any occurrence in the facility during shift

What Does A Detention Officer Do At Los Alamos County

* Monitors conduct of inmates, according to established policies, regulations, and procedures, in order to prevent escape or violence.
* Inspects conditions of locks, window bars, grills, and doors at detention facilities, in order to ensure that they will prevent escapes.
* Transports inmates to and from appointments and court proceedings.
* Performs cleaning and maintenance of facility.
* Searches inmates, cells and other facility areas, and vehicles for weapons, valuables, or drugs.
* Screens visitor upon entrance into facility.
* Inspects mail for the presence of contraband, information and other unauthorized items.
* Conducts booking and release of inmates, including collecting DNA, conducting medical and suicide screening, performing alcohol breathalyzer testing, completing fingerprints and photos, booking forms, and collects and inventories property.
* Performs fingerprinting for general public.
* Classifies all inmates, separates male and female inmates, assesses compatibility of each new inmate with others in the facility and assigns cells.
* Re-classifies and re-arranges housing, as required by inmate behavior.
* Upon release, returns all property and notifies victims; distributes records to appropriate parties.
* Takes inmates into custody.
* Records information, such as prisoner identification, charges, and incidences of inmate disturbance.
* Uses less than lethal weapons, restraints and empty hand techniques to maintain control among inmates.
* Conducts fire, safety, and sanitation inspections.
* Provides to supervisors oral and written reports of the quality and quantity of work performed by inmates, inmate disturbances and rule violations, and unusual occurrences.
* Completes daily logs.
* Verifies, accounts for, logs and administers medications.
* Assures inmates maintain appropriate level of hygiene and maintain clean living areas.
* Settles disputes between inmates.
* Arranges daily schedules for prisoner activities and appointments.
* Orders and shops for food, prepares and serves meals.
* Washes dishes and cleans kitchen after meal preparation.
* Takes requests and distributes commissary items to inmates.
* Responsible for laundering activities within the facility.
* Coordinates and monitors visitation, AA, religious, and anger management meetings and services.
* Responsible for daily inmate counts.
* Washes and details Police vehicles.
* Follows all department policies and procedures to assure that officer safety is the top priority.
* Demonstrates honesty at all times in his or her official capacity.
* Assists in meeting accreditation standards.
* Demonstrates commitment to the county and department vision, mission, and core beliefs.
* Contributes to a team effort and accomplishes related results as required.
* Ensures strict confidentiality of records.
* Performs other duties as required

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How To Become A Detention Officer

Most security guard jobs require a high school diploma. Gaming surveillance officers sometimes need experience with security and video surveillance. Most states require guards to be registered with the state, especially if they carry a firearm.


Security guards generally need a high school diploma or equivalent, although some jobs may not have any education requirements. Gaming surveillance officers also need a high school diploma or equivalent and may need experience with video surveillance technology depending upon assignment.


Although most employers provide instruction for newly hired guards, the amount of training they receive varies. Most guards, however, learn their job in a few weeks. During those few weeks, training from their employer typically covers emergency procedures, detention of suspected criminals, and proper communication.

Many states recommend that security guards receive approximately 8 hours of pre-assignment training, 8–16 hours of on-the-job training, and 8 hours of annual training. This may include training in protection, public relations, report writing, deterring crises, first aid, and other specialized training related to the guard’s assignment.

Training is more rigorous for armed guards because they require weapons training. Armed guards may be tested periodically in the use of firearms.

For gaming surveillance officers and investigators, some employers prefer candidates with previous work experience in casinos or individuals with a background in law enforcement. Experience with video technology can also be helpful in using surveillance systems and software.

Drug testing may be required as a condition of employment and randomly during employment.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Most states require that guards be registered with the state in which they work. Although registration requirements vary by state, basic qualifications for candidates are as follows:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Pass a background check
  • Complete training

Guards who carry weapons usually must be registered by the appropriate government authority. Armed guard positions have more stringent background checks and entry requirements than those of unarmed guards. Rigorous hiring and screening programs, including background, criminal record, and fingerprint checks, are required for armed guards in most states.

Some jobs may also require a driver's license.


Some guards advance to supervisory or security manager positions. Those with experience or postsecondary education should have an advantage. Armed security guards have a greater potential for advancement and enjoy higher earnings.

Some guards with management skills open their own security guard business. Guards can also move to an organization that needs higher levels of security, which may result in more prestige or higher pay.

Important Qualities

Decisionmaking skills. Guards and officers must be able to quickly determine the best course of action when a dangerous situation arises. 

Patience. Security guards and officers may need to spend long periods standing and observing their environment without distractions.

Observation skills. Guards and officers must be alert and aware of their surroundings, and be able to quickly recognize anything out of the ordinary.

Physical strength. Guards must be strong enough to apprehend offenders and to handle emergency situations.

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Detention Officer jobs

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Detention Officer Demographics


  • Male

  • Female

  • Unknown



  • White

  • Hispanic or Latino

  • Asian

  • Unknown

  • Black or African American

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Languages Spoken

  • Spanish

  • French

  • Carrier

  • Arabic

  • German

  • Japanese

  • Polish

  • Korean

  • Italian

  • Russian

  • Portuguese

  • Indonesian

  • Hungarian

  • Vietnamese

  • Dakota

  • Choctaw

  • Malayalam

  • Thai

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Detention Officer

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Detention Officer Education

Detention Officer

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Top Skills for A Detention Officer


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Top Detention Officer Skills

  1. Control Inmate Behavior
  2. Detention Facility
  3. Ensure Safety
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Supervised and control inmate behavior while conducting various operational tasks on a daily basis.
  • Conducted continual visual surveillance of inmates and various areas of detention facility.
  • Performed perimeter security checks to ensure safety of youthful offenders and staff.
  • Monitored, supervised, and maintained custody, control, and safety of all housed detainees at the facility.
  • Provided direct supervision of inmates.

Top Detention Officer Employers

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Detention Officer Videos

Correctional Officer Tribute by Elect of God Entertainment LLC

Inside Juvenile Prison: What It's Like

A Day in the Life of a Correctional Officer