How Do I Become a Corrections Officer?

How to become a correctional officer and find criminal justice schools. ts_871077

What to Expect in a Correctional Officer Training Program

Working as a corrections officer is an exciting and rewarding career choice. But in order to become a corrections officer there is training required to get there and applicants must pass a rigorous amount of pre-screening in order to be considered. Once an applicant clears the screening process, they must be trained so that they can do the job safely, pass their civil service / corrections officer exam, and demonstrate efficiency.

The Screening

The first step of becoming a corrections officer is an extensive background check. Dishonest or misleading candidates will find themselves quickly disqualified. When candidates are cleared for further consideration, they are then given a civil service examination. A candidate’s score on this test determines his or her eligibility, as well as his or position on the waiting list, so to speak. If a candidate achieves a high enough score, they are then contacted (by either mail or telephone) by the training academy in order to set up a formal interview.

The Interview

When contacted for an interview, the applicants should bring several things with them. These include documents such as their application forms, driver’s licenses, birth certificates, high school diplomas or GED certificates, social security cards and any professional licenses. Additionally, applicants will be screened for their physical fitness, mental health and will be tested for the use of illegal substances.

Correctional Officer Training

When accepted for training by the academy, applicants will undergo a correctional officer training course, typically lasting about ten-weeks. During the course, they will learn the policies and procedures of correctional institutions and will also work on physical conditioning. During training, recruits must also demonstrate their ability to communicate effectively and their ability to follow both written and oral instructions.

Training for correctional officers is very similar to other criminal justice programs. As well as simple physical fitness, applicants will also be trained in both academic and emotional preparation. Recruits can also expect obstacle courses and other demanding exercise regimes. As a potential recruit, it would be wise for a person to eat healthily and to begin some type of exercise routine prior to training in order to better their chances of completion.

After Graduation

For the correctional officer, training does not end upon graduation. Graduates will then be assigned to a particular institution or a department of corrections, where they will then undergo further instruction and direction centering on schedules and everyday routines specific to that institution. As policies and procedure for a particular facility change and evolve, so must the techniques of its officers. This ensures both the security and safety of the facility.

A career as a correctional officer, while both rewarding and exciting is not for everyone. Individuals in the field of law enforcement must be dedicated and vigilant. The smallest mistake could be catastrophic to the officer and his or her coworkers. The field can be unforgiving, and so must the training be. To get started learning how to become a correctional officer go to and find criminal justice programs.

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