Correctional Officers and Jailer Career

Job Description: 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.


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Correctional Officers and Jailer Career

What Correctional Officers and Jailers do:

  • Search prisoners and vehicles and conduct shakedowns of cells for valuables and contraband, such as weapons or drugs.
  • Settle disputes between inmates.
  • Monitor conduct of prisoners in housing unit, or during work or recreational activities, according to established policies, regulations, and procedures, to prevent escape or violence.
  • Inspect conditions of locks, window bars, grills, doors, and gates at correctional facilities to ensure security and help prevent escapes.
  • Conduct head counts to ensure that each prisoner is present.
  • Use weapons, handcuffs, and physical force to maintain discipline and order among prisoners.
  • Counsel inmates and respond to legitimate questions, concerns, and requests.
  • Participate in required job training.
  • Provide to supervisors oral and written reports of the quality and quantity of work performed by inmates, inmate disturbances and rule violations, and unusual occurrences.
  • Use nondisciplinary tools and equipment, such as a computer.
  • Record information, such as prisoner identification, charges, and incidents of inmate disturbance, keeping daily logs of prisoner activities.
  • Conduct fire, safety, and sanitation inspections.
  • Serve meals, distribute commissary items, and dispense prescribed medication to prisoners.
  • Assign duties to inmates, providing instructions as needed.
  • Issue clothing, tools, and other authorized items to inmates.
  • Take prisoners into custody and escort to locations within and outside of facility, such as visiting room, courtroom, or airport.
  • Guard facility entrances to screen visitors.
  • Maintain records of prisoners' identification and charges.
  • Drive passenger vehicles and trucks used to transport inmates to other institutions, courtrooms, hospitals, and work sites.
  • Inspect mail for the presence of contraband.
  • 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.
  • Process or book convicted individuals into prison.
  • Supervise and coordinate work of other correctional service officers.
  • Sponsor inmate recreational activities, such as newspapers and self-help groups.
  • Search for and recapture escapees.

What work activities are most important?

Importance Activities

Getting Information - Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.

Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates - Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

Documenting/Recording Information - Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others - Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.

Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards - Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.

Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events - Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.

Making Decisions and Solving Problems - Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.

Processing Information - Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.

Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge - Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings - Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.

Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material - Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.

Assisting and Caring for Others - Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.

Developing and Building Teams - Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.

Performing General Physical Activities - Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.

Training and Teaching Others - Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.

Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates - Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.

Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships - Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.

Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People - Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.

Analyzing Data or Information - Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.

Interacting With Computers - Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.

Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work - Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.

Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others - Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.

Coaching and Developing Others - Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.

Performing for or Working Directly with the Public - Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.

Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment - Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.

Provide Consultation and Advice to Others - Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.

Performing Administrative Activities - Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.

Communicating with Persons Outside Organization - Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.

Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others - Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.

Thinking Creatively - Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.

Handling and Moving Objects - Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.

Scheduling Work and Activities - Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.

Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information - Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.

Holland Code Chart for a Correctional Officers and Jailer