What Are The Duties Of A Correctional Officer?

A correctional officer is responsible for supervising arrested individuals who are sentenced to serve time in prison or jail and individuals who have been arrested for a crime. It is the duty of a correctional officer to oversee and supervise all activities of the inmates, report inmate conduct and misconduct, inspect prison and jail facilities, and assist in the rehabilitation or counseling of inmates. It takes a dedicated individual to become a correctional officer. It is a very serious and dangerous position; therefore it is vital to have strong negotiation, judgment, interpersonal, and communication skills.

Within a jail or prison setting, a correctional officer MUST enforce their regulations and rules of the facility. As a correctional officer, it is vital to treat inmates with respect and dignity, while practicing the art of empathy. Keeping a cool head and reacting quickly is vital the safety of the correctional officer and other inmates.

As a correctional officer, it will be your responsibility to understand an inmate’s circumstantial situation, which will allow you to make smart choices when working within a correctional facility. By preventing assaults, escapes, and disturbances, a correctional officer is able to perform their role efficiently and safely.

Duties of the correctional officer include supervising the activities of the inmates on a daily basis. Knowing the inmate’s whereabouts at all times is essential to the safety of the employees and inmates. correctional officers can conduct sweeps and searches of the inmate or an inmate’s holding cell, for contraband. Drugs and weapons are examples of contraband that an inmate may be hiding from a correctional officer. Correctional officers will investigate and inspect an inmate’s holding cell for signs of a security breach, unsanitary conditions, and any evidence that may violate correctional institutional policies.

If a correctional officer witnesses fighting between inmates or correctional officers and inmates, they must act immediately to safely resolve the incidents. Correctional officers may choose to be trained in the area of prison tactical response; prison tactical response teams are trained to react to hostage situations, riots, confrontations, and disturbances. Other duties of prison tactical response include handle weapons and disarming prisoners.

Enforcing discipline upon inmates is an additional duty of a correctional officer. correctional officers enforce correctional institution regulations by communicating and utilizing progressive sanctions, such as loss of outdoor privileges, work assignments, or commissary. Progressive sanctions are created within correctional institutions so that an inmate will slowly or quickly lose their privileges depending on their behavior or offense. correctional officers may also assist inmates with rehabilitation for their offenses by scheduling counseling, educational opportunities, and work assignments.

Filling out daily reports and logs on inmate’s behavior or incidents that may have occurred, are also a part of a correctional officer’s responsibilities. If an inmate becomes violent or hostile towards another inmate or correctional officer, other correctional officers will step in to restrain the inmate with handcuffs or leg irons.

The correctional officer will safely escort the inmate to and from holding cells for authorized visitation from family or friends. An additional role of the correctional officer is to accompany inmates to courtrooms, medical facilities, and other correctional institutions. A correctional officer must be incredibly intuitive, observant of an inmate’s body language, and personable when dealing with irate inmates.

Due to the nature of a correctional officer’s job, it can be a very dangerous and stressful position. A correctional officer must be prepared and alert for anything that may happen during their shift.

Career Spotlight: Correctional Officer

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