Correctional Officers and Jailers

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About the Job

Guard inmates in penal or rehabilitative institutions in accordance with established regulations and procedures. May guard prisoners in transit between jail, courtroom, prison, or other point. Includes deputy sheriffs and police who spend the majority of their time guarding prisoners in correctional institutions.

It is also Called

  • Youth Corrections Officer
  • Turnkey
  • Station Jailer
  • Security Officer
  • Reformatory Attendant
  • Prison Officer
  • Prison Guard
  • Police Matron
  • Police Detention Attendant
  • Penal Officer
View All

What They Do

  • Sponsor inmate recreational activities, such as newspapers and self-help groups.
  • Supervise and coordinate work of other correctional service officers.
  • Arrange daily schedules for prisoners including library visits, work assignments, family visits, and counseling appointments.
  • Investigate crimes that have occurred within an institution, or assist police in their investigations of crimes and inmates.
  • Drive passenger vehicles and trucks used to transport inmates to other institutions, courtrooms, hospitals, and work sites.
  • Inspect mail for the presence of contraband.
  • Search for and recapture escapees.
  • Process or book convicted individuals into prison.
  • Assign duties to inmates, providing instructions as needed.
  • Issue clothing, tools, and other authorized items to inmates.

Interests

People who work in this occupation generally have the interest code: REC.

This means people who work in this occupation generally have Realistic interests, but also prefer Enterprising and Conventional environments.

Work Values

People who work in this occupation generally prize Support, but also value Relationships and Independence in their jobs.

Things They Need to Know

  • Public Safety and Security - Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
  • Law and Government - Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Clerical - Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.

Things They Need to Be Able to Do

  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.

Additional Resources


Preparation Required

These occupations usually require a high school diploma.

Wages

In 2016, the average annual wage in California was $70,020 with most people making between $48,800 and $86,270

Outlook

0.74%
avg. annual growth

During 2014, this occupation employed approximately 35,100 people in California. It is projected that there will be 37,700 employed in 2024.

This occupation will have about 260 openings due to growth and about 970 replacement openings for approximately 1,230 total annual openings.