Correctional Officers and Jailers

Description

Guard inmates in penal or rehabilitative institutions in accordance with established regulations and procedures. May guard prisoners in transit between jail, courtroom, prison, or other point. Includes deputy sheriffs and police who spend the majority of their time guarding prisoners in correctional institutions.

Tasks

  • Conduct head counts to ensure that each prisoner is present.
  • Monitor conduct of prisoners in housing unit, or during work or recreational activities, according to established policies, regulations, and procedures, to prevent escape or violence.
  • Inspect conditions of locks, window bars, grills, doors, and gates at correctional facilities to ensure security and help prevent escapes.
  • Record information, such as prisoner identification, charges, and incidences of inmate disturbance, and keep daily logs of prisoner activities.
  • Search prisoners and vehicles and conduct shakedowns of cells for valuables and contraband, such as weapons or drugs.
  • Use weapons, handcuffs, and physical force to maintain discipline and order among prisoners.
  • Inspect mail for the presence of contraband.
  • Guard facility entrances to screen visitors.
  • Maintain records of prisoners' identification and charges.
  • Process or book convicted individuals into prison.
  • Settle disputes between inmates.
  • Conduct fire, safety, and sanitation inspections.
  • Provide to supervisors oral and written reports of the quality and quantity of work performed by inmates, inmate disturbances and rule violations, and unusual occurrences.
  • Participate in required job training.
  • Take prisoners into custody and escort to locations within and outside of facility, such as visiting room, courtroom, or airport.
  • Serve meals, distribute commissary items, and dispense prescribed medication to prisoners.
  • Counsel inmates and respond to legitimate questions, concerns, and requests.
  • Drive passenger vehicles and trucks used to transport inmates to other institutions, courtrooms, hospitals, and work sites.
  • Use nondisciplinary tools and equipment such as a computer.
  • Assign duties to inmates, providing instructions as needed.
  • Investigate crimes that have occurred within an institution, or assist police in their investigations of crimes and inmates.
  • Issue clothing, tools, and other authorized items to inmates.
  • Arrange daily schedules for prisoners including library visits, work assignments, family visits, and counseling appointments.
  • Search for and recapture escapees.
  • Supervise and coordinate work of other correctional service officers.
  • Sponsor inmate recreational activities such as newspapers and self-help groups.

Knowledge

Public Safety and Security
Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
Psychology
Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
Law and Government
Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
Customer and Personal Service
Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
English Language
Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Therapy and Counseling
Knowledge of principles, methods, and procedures for diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of physical and mental dysfunctions, and for career counseling and guidance.

Skills

Social Perceptiveness
Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Active Listening
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Speaking
Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Monitoring
Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Critical Thinking
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Coordination
Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
Reading Comprehension
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Abilities

Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Problem Sensitivity
The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
Speech Clarity
The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
Oral Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Speech Recognition
The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
Deductive Reasoning
The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.

Work Activities

Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others
Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings
Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
Assisting and Caring for Others
Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
Performing General Physical Activities
Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems
Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards
Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.

Work Context

Telephone
How often do you have telephone conversations in this job?
Face-to-Face Discussions
How often do you have to have face-to-face discussions with individuals or teams in this job?
Exposed to Disease or Infections
How often does this job require exposure to disease/infections?
Contact With Others
How much does this job require the worker to be in contact with others (face-to-face, by telephone, or otherwise) in order to perform it?
Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People
How frequently does the worker have to deal with unpleasant, angry, or discourteous individuals as part of the job requirements?
Work With Work Group or Team
How important is it to work with others in a group or team in this job?
Importance of Being Exact or Accurate
How important is being very exact or highly accurate in performing this job?
Frequency of Conflict Situations
How often are there conflict situations the employee has to face in this job?
Indoors, Environmentally Controlled
How often does this job require working indoors in environmentally controlled conditions?
Responsible for Others' Health and Safety
How much responsibility is there for the health and safety of others in this job?

Interests

Realistic
Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
Enterprising
Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
Conventional
Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
Social
Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
Investigative
Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
Artistic
Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.

Work Style

Self Control
Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Stress Tolerance
Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Persistence
Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
Cooperation
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Leadership
Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
Independence
Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
Initiative
Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.

Work Values

Support
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
Relationships
Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
Independence
Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
Achievement
Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
Working Conditions
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
Recognition
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.

Lay Titles

Booking Officer
Community Services Officer
Convict Guard
Correctional Corporal
Correctional Guard
Correctional Officer
Correctional Sergeant
Corrections Corporal
Corrections Officer (CO)
Corrections Specialist
Cottage Master
Cottage Parent
Cottage Supervisor
Custodial Officer
Custody Assistant
Deputy
Deputy Jailer
Deputy Sheriff
Detention Deputy
Detention Enforcement Officer
Detention Officer
Gang Pusher
Gate Guard
Gate Watch
Gate Watchman
Guard
Immigration Guard
Jail Guard
Jail Officer
Jail Supervisor
Jailer
Jailer/Training Officer
Jailkeeper
Jailor
Juvenile Corrections Officer
Juvenile Detention Officer
Lock Up Keeper
Matron
Patrol Conductor
Penal Officer
Police Matron
Police Officer
Prison Guard
Public Safety Officer
Reformatory Attendant
Security Guard
Security Officer
Turnkey
Youth Corrections Officer

National Wages and Employment Info

Median Wages (2008):
$18.77 hourly, $39,040 annual.
Employment (2008):
434,870 employees