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Correctional Officer

Career description:

Correctional officers are a vital part of the criminal justice system. They enforce rules that help prevent inmates from harming themselves or others. Organizations across all levels of government employ correctional officers. Cities and counties operate jails that house individuals awaiting trial and serving short sentences. States and the federal government employ correctional officers to work in prisons, where inmates serve longer sentences. Private prisons also employ correctional officers.

What it’s like:

Common duties:

  • Enforce prison or jail rules
  • Supervise activities of inmates
  • Escort and transport inmates
  • Inspect facilities to ensure that they meet security and safety standards
  • Search inmates for contraband items
  • Break up physical altercations
  • Monitor and report on inmate conduct

Similar occupations:

Correctional Officer, Correctional Sergeant, Corrections Officer (CO), Deputy Jailer, Detention Deputy, Detention Officer, Jail Officer, Jailer, Jailor