While each of these positions focuses on a different aspect of an inmate’s time, both inside and outside of jail, they all work to help keep inmates safe and secure while putting them on a path toward rejoining society healthy and rehabilitated. The requirements for eligibility vary per role as well but it’s important to have a background in criminal justice. The online Master of Arts in Criminal Justice degree from Arizona State University explores ideas central to these and other professions where strong leadership and a solid understanding of the field is imperative. An advanced degree can give you an advantage in the job market, especially if applying for a management position in the correctional system.
Regardless of your specific position in the correctional system, it’s likely your day will include interacting with inmates or those recently released from prison. A common priority within the field is to help these individuals, whether it is ensuring their safety while incarcerated, assisting them in getting treatment and counseling or providing them with the tools they need to rejoin society. Below are a few details to depict what a typical day could be like in a corrections job.
Any day for a correctional officer or supervisor is busy, filled with myriad tasks to help keep inmates safe, secure and healthy while in prison. Being responsible for enforcing rules and keeping order includes searching for contraband, settling inmate disputes and enforcing necessary disciplinary action. Professionals also regularly inspect prison facilities to ensure they meet security and safety standards.
Working with people who have been released from prison, parole officers help with entry back into society. Daily activities include connecting with parolees via phone, office visits or going directly to their residence. They oversee drug testing and evaluate the safety of parolees’ living quarters. If necessary, parole officers can also help determine any actions that should be taken toward continued rehabilitation for their parolees. Similarly, if offenders are not following their release conditions, parole officers can initiate the process to return them to the correctional facility.