Corrections Schools | Corrections Degree



Individuals working in the corrections area of the criminal justice field learn how to manage, and hopefully, rehabilitate convicted criminals. The goal of rehabilitation is to enable convicted criminals to return to productive roles in society. Correctional officers usually work in prisons and jails, watching over the inmates and keeping order. Correctional officers may also work in jails overseeing people awaiting trial after being arrested. It might be the responsibility of the correctional officer to keep the peace and prevent the inmates from escaping, attacking guards or other inmates, and various other types of illegal activity that are routinely attempted by inmates of a correctional facility.

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Unlike other types of officers and law enforcement, a correctional officer's legal jurisdiction is only within the correctional institution at which they work.

Working for a prison or jail can be tough and dangerous work. The officer is locked in with dangerous inmates, including murderers, rapists, con artists, and thieves, eight or more hours a day. Although prisons take every precaution to protect the employees and keep them beyond the reach of the more dangerous criminals, there are still occasions where the job does require direct contact with the prisoners. Corrections officers have to make rounds, search cells for contraband, and keep a general watchful eye over the prison population. A correctional officer might have nerves of steel and at least a high school education for most entry-level jobs. However, most of the federal prisons and larger penitentiaries may require at least a bachelor's degree in a field that prepares one to counsel, supervise, or provide other assistance to individuals. A military or law enforcement background is usually sufficient to meet the prerequisites to becoming a correctional officer.