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Transcript of Corrections Officer
OFFICER EDUCATION WAGES TYPICAL DUTIES JOB AVAILABILITY WHO SHOULD BE A CORRECTIONS OFFICER? WHO KEEPS PRISONERS FROM ESCAPING FROM JAIL? OTHER QUALIFICATIONS WHO KEEPS PRISONERS FROM KILLING EACH OTHER? INTERVIEW The median annual salary of corrections offciers in 2008 was $38, 380 The highest 10% earned more than $62, 110 The median annual wage in the public section in the federal government was $50, 830, $38, 050 in provincial government, and $37, 510 in a local government FEDERAL GOVERNMENT must have at least Grade 12 education
CPR and first aid certification
Post secondary education in correctional service, criminal justice, sociology, psychology, or criminology is preferred
Volunteer work experience with people in crisis is also recommended PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT Should have at least a high school diploma plus two years work experience
Their work experience should be relevant with a particular emphasis on dealing with people high moral character good listening skills good writing and oral communication skills someone in good physical health enjoy working with people be able to follow the chain of command WORK ENVIRONMENT be at least 18 years of age be a Canadian citizen, or permanent resident no felony convictions or detention officers in 1963, the name "Guards" was changed officially to "correctional officers" correctional officers and jailers have one of the highest rates of nonfatal on-the-job injuries correctional officers usually work an 8-hour-day,5 days a week, on rotating shifts prison and jail security is around the clock, officers work day and night, weekends, and HOLIDAYS responsible for overseeing individuals who have been arrested and are awaiting trial or who have been convicted of a crime maintain security and inmate accountability to prevent disturbances, assaults, and escapes monitor the activities and supervise the work assignments of inmates must search inmates and their living quarters for contraband like weapons or drugs settle disputes enforce discipline report orally and in writing on inmate conduct 518, 200 correctional officers employed in 2008 Projected employment in 2018 is 566, 500 employment is expected to grow 9% between 2009 and 2018 Deborah Ammeson Years in field: 12 Corrections Officer, Walworth County
Wisconsin How did you get into corrections?
I wanted to be a police officer and I wound up in the jail instead.
I studied police science at a technical college for 2 years, and then put myself through police academy. In May of '92 I graduated, and I had a young child at home.
It takes police officers 10 years to get day shifts, so I applied for a job at Walworth County Jail. It's been a good job, very stable. They're never going to run out of work. What's the most challenging thing
about being a corrections officer? Even though there are plenty of boring hours in the day, there's always something that's never happened before. New inmates come in with new problems, new situations, even new paperwork, and that keeps it interesting.
At the same time it can be very stressful, because you go from down time to BAM you have to save someone's life, or fight someone. It's a rush, but people do get hurt. I've never felt I was at risk, but there's always a chance.
We get constant training in how to fight, how to protect ourselves, how to deal with medical issues. We get 24 hours of training a year they don't just throw us in there. What does a normal day look like for you? Corrections officers rotate through different post assignments. Some assignments are more hands-on with inmates and others require just sitting and watching the controls. On any given day I could be assigned to 15 different posts. Usually we stay in the same post for a couple of weeks, so we get in the swing of things, but to stay for a month is too stressful or too monotonous.
So I come in, find out what post I'm at, and go there. I get briefed by the previous shift, what needs to be done, if there are any problems. I do a head count of the inmates. We do inspections, check their rooms.
We have pods – a big open area – with 48 inmates and one officer. We have a podium in the room with a computer and a storage drawer. If I want to sit down I sit at the same tables with the inmates. They're just going about their business, playing cards or watching TV. We have a written schedule we follow; we bring in the meal trays.
Intake is totally different, working with new people coming in off the street. Then I have to pat them down, do paperwork and fill out questionnaires. What happens just depends on what post you're at. What skills are most important for being a corrections officer? Confidence. Because we do get retrained and retrained, but when it comes down to it, and you have to react to a situation, you have to believe that you know what you're doing and you have to do it. You have to be confident in your physical and mental ability to do it. An officer who isn't confident will hold back and let other officers do it, and that's not how it's supposed to be.
You need to be physically fit. You can't be overweight or out of shape. The confident, physically fit corrections officers go in and deal with problems. The ideal situation is to be confident in your physical and mental abilities. What do you tell people who are interested in corrections work? You need to be prepared to work second and third shift for at least 3 years. It took me 3 years to get to day shift. Working the evening shift is hard when you have kids. Once you get through that 3 years and go to day shift, it's not a bad job. I get up at 3 AM, but then I come home at 3, and I still have plenty of my day left.
The pay is good; in 12 years I've doubled my income and the benefits are awesome. But you have to weigh that against the stress of the job. Sometimes when we’re short-staffed we'll get forced overtime. There's a lot of overtime, which can be great for the money, but it's tough if you have a family at home. Correctional officers working for the government may retire at age 50 after 20 years of service or at any age with 25 years of service But to become one you need... Other Qualifications Work Environment Who would want this job? Wages Typical Duties Job Availability Education Interview And just to make sure all of you were listening... 1. What's another name for a corrections officer? 2. What is the minimum education needed to become a corrections officer?