Career refers to the metaphorical journey through education, working to other aspects of life
such as retirement. People career is pegged on belonging to a profession. Correctional officers
are individuals who are responsible for overseeing people who have been sentenced to serve time
in prison or jail, or those who have been arrested pending trial. In New York City, correctional
officers work under New York Department of Corrections and Community Supervision
(DOCCS). A career as a correctional officer requires understanding the requirements for one to
qualify, the goals and objectives that members of the society expects, talents and interests, duties,
and the benefits associated with being a correctional officer. All these issues creates the need to
undertake a career research for a correctional officer in New York City.
Duties of Corrections Officers in New York City
Inside jail or prison, correctional officers keep order by ensuring rules are followed. Security of
inmates and that of the employees working in the prisons or jails are a priority for correctional
officers. This duty requires correctional officers to engage in activities that are aimed at
preventing escapes, assaults, and disturbances (Cornelius, 2010) . To effectively undertake this,
correctional officers need to supervise inmates as they conduct themselves on a daily basis, thus
ensuring that the rules are adhered to by the inmates. The same duty requires that whereabouts of
all inmates are known at any given time, which means that correctional officers do random roll
call of the inmates to ascertain their number.
Occasionally, correctional officers conduct searchers on inmates for weapons, dugs, contraband,
enforcement of discipline, and dispute settlement among inmates. In enforcement of the rules
and regulations of the prisons, correctional officers use progressive sanctions and effective
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communication. Some of the progressive sanctions involve punishment of the inmates such as
loss of privilege among others. The progressive nature of the sanctions means that lesser offenses
get less severe punishments while serious offenses gets more severe punishment. There is also
the issue of correctional officers scheduling inmates as they may deem necessary or upon request
Inspection of facilities to ensure that the prison premises meet the regulatory standards is also a
duty of correctional officers together with the other specialists such as engineers. As part of the
inspection, correctional officers check cells and other areas for possible security breaches,
evidence of violations that are a threat to the security, unhygienic conditions, and contraband
(Heyward, 2015) . Correctional officers also inspect visitors for prohibited items and activities.
After completion of inspection of the facility, the correctional officers write a report detailing
their opinion on the issues that formed part of the inspection.
Correctional officers are not responsible for law enforcements activities outside the prison
premises. However, there are a few instances when they work outside the prison premises. They
include when working with correctional treatment specialists and probation to counsel offenders,
and in instances where there is prisoner escape and a search is being conducted.
Qualifications for Job as Correctional Officer in New York City
According to the New York Department and Community Supervision (DOCCS), candidates
interested in having a career as correctional officers within the organization must meet certain
qualifications. First, one has to be at least 21 years of age. Second, such individuals must also be
physically fit. Lastly, interested individuals must be able to pass New York civil services exams
(Jennifer L LuxBurton, Miller, & Cullen, 2018) . Apart from the state prisons, there are also
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Federal Bureau of Prisons, which gives additional requirements to those of the state department.
On the age limit, there is an upper limit for those who wants to join, in particular, it provides for
individuals to be not older than 36 years of age. Interested individuals must also have no major
financial obligations and no serious criminal convictions.
Career Training as a Correctional Officer in New York
At the time of considering a career in correctional services, individuals must have attained
education of equivalent of a high school diploma. They also have to either be citizens of the
United States or a permanent resident in the country. There are two different categories of
training for the career correctional officers.
Federal Law Enforcement Training Academy
According to the regulations of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, they require that correctional
officers dedicate a minimum of 200 hours for training and orientation before graduating as
practice as corrections officers. Those who are serving are required to dedicated dedicate
between 16 to 40 hours annually. The 200 hours for trainees is divided into two. There is 80
hours for what is termed as “pre-employment training” which is done through an assigned
facility. The remaining 120 hours are done at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Academy,
which is located in Glynco, GA. Part of the training include instructions on marksmanship,
vehicle operations, policies, and firearms.
New York Department of Corrections and Community Supervision Training
State correctional officers in New York State undergo a 12-month training duration. Trainees
who successfully go through the training process go a further eight week training program at the
Correctional Services Academy in Albany that is combines both field training and academic
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courses. Some of the theoretical academic courses include security procedures, emergency
response procedures, legal rights and responsibilities, corrections issues and concepts, and
For the field training, some of the activities include training of the use of firearms and rigorous
physical fitness that is aimed to giving the training stamina, endurance, and strength. At the end
of the training process, trainees are put to test by requested to undertake a must complete seven
sequential job-related tasks within a record time of 2 minutes and 14 second. Any trainee who
fails to perform the tasks is dismissed with immediate effect. At the end of the formal training,
the trainees are attached to correction facility for a period of 10 months under direct supervision
of a senior officer. At the end of the attachments, the trainees are certified as correctional officer,
thus are qualified to work as a professional correctional officer.
Compensation and Benefits Packages of Correctional Officers in New York State
It should first be noted that once individuals are recruited in the training program, they are
considered correctional officers, thus starts earning. The annual base salary for correctional
officers differ based on the period they has been as correctional officers. In the first 26 weeks of
training, correctional officers are paid an annual base salary of $39,014, the second 26 weeks
they earn $41,037, and certified correctional officers get $46,990. The trainees are paid an
additional $200 upon successful completion of their training program. In addition to the salaries,
there is inconvenience allowance for the officers working on evening and night shifts. There is
also salary increment that is based on positive performance evaluation. There are also other
benefits that correctional officers receive such as life, dental, vision, and medical insurance.
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Personality and Interests
Correctional officers are in most cases interested in persuading, building and organizing, as have
been suggested by the framework of Holland Code. The building aspect as has been indicated
include majority of them being involved in machines and tools as they like fixing things
(Koonce, 2012) . Persuasion as an area of interest have seen correctional officers to be more
concern about motivating, influencing, and selling to other people. The organizing aspect refers
to the tendency of correctional officers relates to focus on working with informational and
processes, thus ensuring systems are having an orderly arrangement.
There are also several qualities that informs their unique personality. Good judgment is one of
their qualities as it enables them get the best outcomes in some undesirable circumstances. They
have good interpersonal skills that enables them to effectively communicate and interact with
colleagues and inmates. Negotiation skills which helps them in resolving conflicts that arise
within the premise. Lastly, is the aspect of physical strength? They have strength that enable
them to effectively maintain law and order am maintain peace. Those who are interested in being
correctional officers must have at least some of these qualities.
Work Environment and Schedules
In 2012, correctional officers held about 469,500 people. These number represent those that were
working for the government, which include local, state and federal governments. However, there
is another group of correctional officers who work in the private sectors under the concept of the
private prisons. In terms of the environment, correctional officers work both indoors and
outdoors. The working conditions of prisons differ as some are well ventilated and temperature
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controlled, but there are those that are hot, noisy, overcrowded and old (Berg & Gibbs, 2012) .
Such officers are sometimes required to stand for long hours as they monitor the movement of
In terms of schedules, the working hours of correctional officers is 8 hours every day for 5 days a
week just like any other formal employment. Unlike normal jobs, which close at certain periods
of the 24 hours of the day, prisons works all round the clock. It means that correctional officers
work in shifts and changes their shifts between day and night among themselves.
A career as a correctional officer is one that is unique and requires passion. The duties are
although sometimes strenuous but interesting at the sometime. It has also been indicated that
some formal education is required before one become eligible to apply to joining the training
academies for specialized training. The nature of the work as tailors individuals to have certain
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Berg, B., & Gibbs, G. C. (2012). Report Writing for Police and Correctional Officers. New
York: McGraw-Hill Education.
Cornelius, G. F. (2010). The Correctional Officer: A Practical Guide. Durham, North Carolina:
Carolina Academic Press.
Heyward, G. L. (2015). Becoming a Model Warden. Washington: American Correctional
Jennifer L LuxBurton, A., Miller, W., & Cullen, F. T. (2018). Creating a Model Correctional
Officer Training Academy: Implications from a National Survey. Federal probation,
Koonce, L. (2012). rrection Officer's Guide to Understanding Inmates: The 44 Keys to Power,
Control, and Respect (Volume 1). Atlanta, GA: Koonce Publishing.