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Starting Career in Corrections


Subscribe to Starting Career in Corrections 83 posts, 52 voices

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E tivity logo140x70 GeorgeBooth 14 posts

“I just went for an interview in Virginia to be a correction officer and after the interview my finger prints were taken for background check and i was told it may take up to 3 or 4 weeks before they will call me. Please can any one tell me why it takes that long and what will be the next step after that?”

Mbuba, one key phrase you need to learn is “24/7”.
24/7 is the time an inmate has to find your weakness, to see what makes you tick, to see how he/she can manipulate you. 3 weeks is the short amount of time the facility has to see if you have the mental strength, knowledge, people skills and moral compass to effectively do your job. Some of these people have nothing to lose and seeing the fresh CO for them is a game, an opportunity, a break from the mundane. You will see the very worst humanity has to offer and see things so violent TV could not possibly portray. You get one chance to deal with that before you get a reputation. Back down, panic and your job will become miserable and the inmates will brand you for life and you’ll quit shortly thereafter.

How will you deal with the first time getting sprayed by an inmate? How will you deal with an inmate that clenches his fists infront of you when you tell him his chit is denied. These inmates have become masters of their enviornment and especially of human nature. They can see through you and then some. I would think of the short three weeks as protection for you, these people (facility) will check every aspect of your background and if they feel you can do the job, then congrats, if not, count your blessings and move on. I will say this, impatient and eager COs are usually the first ones to go.

Male user Mbuba 4 posts

@Sam,thanks a lot for the information.I appreciate it

Male user sam 5 posts

I’ve had the opportunity assisted the H.R. department to conduct a background check on 4 different individuals and the process takes up to 3 weeks. I have to check our database to see if the individual have any arrest record and also check with the BCI as well. Once that done I turned my files in to them and usually the Sergeant in H.R. will contact you and let you know whether you are select for the next step……and that is medicals. It took me about 6 months before I got hired on with Salt Lake County Sheriff Office. So be patience. You will go thru academy for anoher 3-6 months before you even work.

Male user Mbuba 4 posts

I just went for an interview in Virginia to be a correction officer and after the interview my finger prints were taken for background check and i was told it may take up to 3 or 4 weeks before they will call me.Please can any one tell me why it takes that long and what will be the next step after that?

Male user jfschrader 2 posts

The two largest private employers were Correctional medical Services (CMS) and Prison Helath Services (PHS). They merged about two months ago under a new name – Corizon. Do a search on them and youshould find all the info you need.

Female user daniellejudith 1 post

Does anyone know of or have a list of contractors that work at correctional facilities in the medical profession? I have googled, but no such luck. I live in Indiana, but plan to relocate to San Antonio, tx

Bop bronze seal BOPRecruiter 9 posts

Probably the same basic qualifications the feds look for. Want to know more look under the discussion tab on our facebook page! www.facebook.com/BureauofPrisonsMid-AtlanticRegionTalentTeamRecruitment!

You can also learn more about the hiring process too. Good luck. Just make sure you tell the truth about anything they ask you. Better to deal with any issues up front.

Male user oregonguy 1 post

I have an interview next week for an position here in Oregon, it has taken over a year. Anybody know what they are looking for in the State of Oregon during the interview?

Male user OCCD 57 posts

Most larger agencies have “internships,” paid or otherwise. There are also “sponsorships.” These are good ways to get a foot in the door, especially at the larger agencies.Short of this, I would concentrate on finishing my degree first. But a meaningful internsgip could produce a job upon graduation, no mean feat in today’s economy.

Female user studyinghard87 1 post

Hi, I’m a junior at John Jay college in New york and I want to eventually be a federal parole officer. I’ve always been interested in corrections. This year I will be getting my A.S. in Corrections Administration and next year my B.A. in Criminology, but I want to get started on my experience now in any part of corrections just to get the feel of it all, does anybody have an idea of what I could do to get started building my experience without having any real formal training yet so when I graduate I’ll at least have some experience all set and ready to go?

Male user OCCD 57 posts

Relocate. Join military in a reserve capacity. Go to place where there is a staffing problem or where mass hires are being done. If an agency only has one or two positions open, those positions are probably already spoken for, especially in this economy. After getting hired and doing a couple of years, try to apply to where you want to be. Good luck.

Female user Thetis 1 post

I served six years as an officer in a men’s state penetentiary. Things at my facility began to change. Inmates were slowly gaining power, officers were being “set-up” by administration, and officer safety and security were lower priorities. I was soon faced with a charge of fraternizing with an inmate. Obsurd as this was….I went into the IG’s office anyway. Needless to say, by the end of the interview he said that they had no proof that I had done anything wrong. Two days later I was in the warden’s office being given an ultimatum…….resign or be terminated. The choice was clear but I was devastated. Now my record and my name is permanantly tarnished with no chance of repair. What can I do….I truly loved corrections. I have applied to other agencies and even though I have six years experience with three in special housing……I was denied. I know that my former employer continued to present this muddy info to these other agencies. Any advice?

Male user crash 9 posts

I agree with InCO. Chilled, I’m not sure where you work, but you may need to transfer out. It is sad we still live in an age of discrimination and sexism. I am a male Corporal at my facility and some of our highest ranking staff members are females. We have plenty of female Corporals, Sergeants, Lieutenants, and Captains. A female was just promoted to Major this past November and one of our two Deputy Chiefs is a female. I also find that most of the time, a female can deescalate a situation quicker than a male. I am proud to have a female officer work on my shift and it is horrible that your agency does not recognize your abilities that you bring to their agency.

Male user InCO 5 posts

I disagree with Chilled. At my facility in NW Indiana, we have many female sargeants, several female lieutenants, and even a Captain or two. Two of our three Complex directors are female, as well as countless female officers. Females can be very successful in corrections, however are more succumb to the pressures of inmates. If you are looking for a career in corrections and are female, look into all the possibilities, such as a female facility. Many veterans prefer male facilities due to the “emotional” side of working with females. Research your area and don’t be afraid to ask HR personell about the percentages of ranking female officers in the facility. You may be suprised how many there are. Good luck and remember that it is a demanding field. Stress and other factors can play big into whether you are up to being a member of an elite community.

Bop bronze seal BOPRecruiter 9 posts

The prestigious Corrections component of the Department of Justice continues to expand during this unstable economic time. The Federal Bureau of Prisons has three new facilities under construction with activation dates that vary within the next 9 months. New medium security level facilities are under construction in McDowell County (Welch), West Virginia; Mendota (Fresno County), California and Berlin (Coos County), New Hampshire.

Remember, prisons are like small cities surrounded by the security of a fence and although, 100% of staff in our institutions are “Correctional Workers First,” there are MORE than just Correctional Officer positions available. We need food service supervisors, warehouse supervisors, accounting technicians, secretaries, Medical Officers, recreation specialists, teachers, Psychologists and case managers to name a few. Approximately 200 new positions to fill at each new location!

To view the Bureau of Prisons recruitment videos visit www.youtube.com/TeamTalentRecruiter. For more up to the minute information, join www.twitter.com/BOPRecruiter! To contact a Team Talent Recruiter, e-mail Talent.Team@yahoo.com and receive a response within 24 hours!

Female user chilled 1 post

Obviously you are a female questioning a career in corrections. I am a female in corrections and it is truly a “good old boy” system. It is a field where good money can be made but your dignity eroded. Women do well standing up to inmates and are tortured by male officers. If you are educated as I am it is even worse. You are then a threat. The only women not suffering are the ones who flirt with these “good old boys”. I was told my first year that if I didn’t like it to get out. When I went through the right channels to get help I angered both the women who like to flirt and the good old boys who just wanted me to keep my mouth shut. They found ways to torture me beyond belief. Good luck. Stay strong and don’t play the game or you will lose yourself.

Male user johnrodger 3 posts

We need folks here in Texas.

Male user Jason 1 post

Hi all. I left corrections 6 years ago for the money and prestige of the railroad. I have questioned this move every since. Money is not the end all, be all. I am currently thinking of a comeback.

Male user derek 1 post

I have been in corrections for 8 yrs. I am looking to relocate but have found that in this firld it’s hard to just pack and move and go to another job. You have to take all those test and background checks. it would be so nice to fill out your paper work and have a letter of hire before I leave the driveway. Anyone else feel my pain ?

Female user terischa 2 posts

I am dying to get into the field but, it seem where I am at SYRACUSE,NY it’s not working for me should I move? who should I get in contact with?

Male user KC 1 post

Im a corrections officer in Ohio and I want to relocate to North Carolina. Any Jobs available there.

Male user CaptainO77 2 posts

I have been in the system for over 22 years now and 20 years as a supervisor, I tell my new officers this can be the best job you ever had or this can be the worst job you ever had. It all depends on your approach to everyday dealings with different and potentially difficult decisions. If you remain open minded and realize you are still dealing with another human being and you remain Fair, Firm, and Consistant with all you deal with, you will be ok. The problem arises when you allow your personal feelings or views to interfere with your decisions. I also want to stress that this is a job, nothing else, it’s not a way of life, it’s not your main focus in life, it’s simply a means to provide for yourself and your family. Stay active outside your job with your family, hobbies, etc…Never allow your job to consume your way of life. Remember while at work you are a vital part of of a TEAM, you watch over each other and you go home every day at the end of your shift!

Male user crash 9 posts

For those thinking of a career in corrections, it is a very rewarding place. It isn’t anything you see in movies or tv, so don’t feel everyday you will be fighting riots. Being a Correctional Officer is like being in an exclusive fraternity. The same as Fire Fighters, Police Officers, Deputies, and Highway Patrol, there is a sense of brotherhood that exists and not everyone is capable of doing the job. David was right, do not pretend to be something you are not, inmates will see right through you and lose respect. There will be days you will have to give the unpopular answer, but it is the honest answer. Finding a mentor is a great idea. When I first started, I learned alot from those who had 15 years or more on the job. But do not get caught up in the wrong crowd. Just like any job, there is always the one person that sets the bad example. Show interest in the job and be a team player and your peers will recognize this and have your back. As for your family life, be prepared because it will change. Talk with your family about what you are considering. Most problems come from not talking to your family and hiding your emotions. If you know a correctional officer, have them talk with your family also. I do firmly believe, a correctional officer is a rewarding career and is a close brotherhood of special kind of people. Good luck to you.

Lion Comfortably ... 154 posts

Good article. Never thought about some of the points about the retirees until you brought them to light. Just another reason to lower the retirement age/time. Leaving it at the gate is not always so simple, just like you say. Was interesting to see how true all of that bodes in my personal life and with fellow Officers that I know.

Male user CO809 3 posts


I am also a writer, and am often featured on Corrections Connection. Take a look at some of my articles, they may help you answer some questions regarding the stress we endure. http://www.corrections.com/news/article/15947

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