Working in County Corrections
If you have a desire to work in the county corrections system you will find that you could have a career as a correctional officer or detention officer. The job can certainly have its challenges at times but it is also very rewarding if you do realize what type of positive impact you can have on the inmates. In order to make a decision if you are a good fit for working in county corrections you need to understand the job details, required education, and training; plus, the job outlook information for the county jail corrections or detention officers’ career.
Understand the job details of a county jail correctional officer
The main focus of correction officers from every prison system (federal, state, or county) is the same. You need to maintain order and keep a watchful eye on inmates. You are there to keep discipline. County corrections officers do have law enforcement privileges when they are at work. It is important to remember that those privileges should not be abused or you could be subject to criminal charges yourself. As an officer your authority lies within the walls of the correctional facility you work for. The only exceptions to that rule are when you are on official business and escorting an inmate to a medical appointment, court appointment, or other approved appointment.
Things like fraternizing and being personal with inmates is not encouraged because it makes the lines too unclear between the correctional officer and their authority over the inmates. That is why correctional officers are expected to stay professional but still be respectful to inmates and their rights.
Required education and training to become a correctional officer for the county
County correctional officers are required to have a high school diploma before they would ever be considered for a job within the county correctional system. Many counties and states also have a minimum age that ranges anywhere from eighteen to twenty-one for all candidates. Without secondary education most county corrections officers will start at entry-level positions to learn the ropes of what it takes to work in the system. Before being hired eligible candidates for the position will need to pass written and physical exams to make sure they are suited for the job. At times a corrections job can be very physical if you are dealing with uncooperative inmates. The written portion of the test is to ensure that you know, understand, and are willing to follow the rules that are in place. Those rules are designed to protect both officers and inmates alike.
What happens when you work in county corrections
County jails account for nearly 3/4ths of all correctional workers in the system. The other common name that county corrections officers are referred to is detention officers. The reason they are also referred to as detention officers is because many times they are just detaining an inmate for a short period of time. It all depends on what the inmate is in custody for. Many times they are just waiting for bail to post, to sober up, or for a transfer to another facility. County correctional officers need to be able to remember and track inmates to make sure that they are remembering everybody that should be there. Obviously, a lost inmate is not a good thing and every safety procedures imaginable should be in place to prevent that from happening.
Every year the number of county correctional officers continues to grow. That trend is expected to continue rising for a while. If you are interested in working in this field you should check out what the requirements are at the facility you’d like to work at.
Schools OfferingCorrections Courses:
- MS in Criminal Justice - Corrections
You’re serious about success. With your busy schedule and the desire to move your career forward, you can earn an accredited associate, bachelors or master’s degree at a pace that works for you anywhere, anytime, 24/7.
At AIU, the Serious U, you can get started to get ahead.
- Bachelor's (BSCJ) - Corrections and Case Management
At Kaplan University, we offer over 180 degree and certificate programs.
- Master of Science in Criminal Justice : Corrections
For over 35 years, Keiser University has maintained a practical, hands-on approach to career education to help our students achieve their personal and professional goals.
- Bachelor of Science in Forensic Investigations (Hybrid)
- Bachelor of Science in Forensic Investigations
- Associate of Science in Crime Scene Technology
National Louis University is one of the oldest and most progressive universities in Chicago.
- B.A. in Criminal Justice: Forensic Social Justice
CTU can connect you to a powerful professional network, real-world faculty and innovative technology.
- Denver - Bachelor of Science - Criminal Justice: Forensic Investigation
Join the community of thought leaders at University of the Rockies. Pursue your graduate degree from the University’s School of Professional Psychology or School of Organizational Leadership.
- MA in Psychology, Criminology and Justice Studies