Corrections officers form an intrinsic part of the criminal justice system and are sometimes known as detention officers. They often assume the role of supervision of prisoners and ensure their safety and security. They are also responsible for providing fair and humane treatment to prisoners and those awaiting trial. They are mostly employed by the respective state governments. As the population of prisoners in the United States has been growing steadily, there is always a demand for corrections officers who are appropriately qualified in the criminal justice field. Consequently, corrections officer training will help you become a part of this profession.
Corrections officers are in constant demand and their salary ranges from $20,000 to $60,000 per annum, depending on whether they are employed by the federal, state, or private level. This job is exciting and offers a wide variety work environment that are challenging. However, working in a correctional facility can sometimes be stressful and dangerous. There is always a threat when you are helping a prisoner or a suspected criminal in some way.
The cost of a course to prepare oneself as corrections officer depends on the duration of the course and the school. Mohave community college offers a 32 week course that costs $3,142 and the online course at Kaplan University costs $353 per credit hour and requires 36 credit hours, costing $12,708.
If you earn a degree, you will be able to secure higher salaried positions in more controlled settings. Degrees and training are available at most larger universities and community colleges. Some of them include Montcalm Community College, Eastern Kentucky University-College of Justice and Safety, and Tiffin University. Kaplan University also offers an online certificate course.
Testing & Preparation
Formal education and training are the prerequisites to become a correctional officer. Though few facilities accept candidates with a high school diploma, the Federal Bureau of Prisons require the correctional officers to have at least a bachelor's degree. Experience in counseling, assistance, and supervision are also some other requirements. You also need to complete a 16 week training program at your state's correctional training academy. Though the criminal justice degrees do not need this, it is helpful.
Schools that offer courses require that students submit their Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) score or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score. In addition to proficiency in English, some schools also test the students' interest and motivation through interviews.
Funding for a course in correctional officers can be in the form of scholarships, grants, loans and through the Federal Work Study (FWS) program. College Scholarships provides information about scholarships for students pursuing courses dealing with correctional officers.