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General Corrections

Corrections Job Description

Department of Corrections employees are tasked with supervising individuals who are incarcerated within the prison system. They are responsible for maintaining law and order within the prison walls, ensuring the prisoners’ safety and well-being, and often monitor an individual inmate’s psychological behavior, if necessary. At times, they also assist with transporting inmates to various locations.

Individuals who work within the juvenile system assist with the rehabilitation of juvenile inmates. Juveniles often work one-on-one with employees who counsel them and create long term action plans that are structured to help them succeed in the future.

Working Conditions

Corrections employees often have to deal with a great deal of stress throughout the work day. At times, inmates may become violent and unpredictable. Employees work in tight spaces and are often required to work overtime. A great deal of training and coursework must be completed prior to beginning work in this field and a criminal justice degree is highly recommended for this career.

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Correctional Counselor

Correctional counselor is a criminal justice job that involves counseling inmates while in prison or on parole. Corrections counselors may also specialize in particular populations such as youth offenders. As part of their counseling duties, they write reports assessing the likelihood of the inmate or parolee reoffending, make recommendations for treatment and assist the inmate or former inmate at transitioning into life outside of prison. They may work with offenders in getting them job placement and training and help with mental health and substance abuse issues. Correctional counselors may work with families of offenders as well.

The median salary for correctional counselors was around $47,000 in 2010 although salaries can go as low as $30,000 and higher than $80,000. The job may require long hours in high risk areas, but many in this field find the work both challenging and rewarding.

Correctional Treatment Specialist

Are you interested in pursuing a career as a correctional treatment specialist? If so, you should make sure you understand prerequisites of the position such as a criminal justice degree. You should also know the duties of such a job in criminal justice to make sure the job is something you are truly interested in. Read more to find out if the position of correctional treatment specialist is right for you.

What Does a Correctional Treatment Specialist Do?

A correctional treatment specialist, also known as a parole officer, oversees parolees who are recently released from prison or were placed on probation as an alternative to jail. The primary role of a specialist is to monitor the behavior of the individuals assigned to them in an effort to ensure they are acting in accordance with the law. They also enroll parolees in personal counseling and drug rehabilitation programs to ensure their wellbeing once their probation terms end. An individual in this role may also help those assigned re-integrate into society by helping them find housing and jobs.

Correctional Treatment Specialist Candidate Requirements

This position generally requires candidates to pass a criminal background check. A bachelor’s degree is also expected. Prospective correctional treatment specialists may also be required to under written, oral and psychological examinations to ensure that they possess the cognitive ability demanded of the job and emotionally stable.

Parole Officer

Parole Officer Job Duties

The main job of a parole officer is to supervise people who have recently been released from prison. They maintain a constant state of contact with the parolee, require them to check in on a regular basis and often visit them in their homes. Parole officers also monitor individuals who have been sentenced to serve time on probation instead of prison. Because of the type of people that parole officers work with on a daily basis, dangerous situations are not uncommon.

Salary Information

Those who are seeking a career as a parole officer within the legal system should carefully consider the risks involved with the job. As with many law enforcement jobs, a degree in criminal justice is highly recommended.

While parole officer salaries vary by state and employer, the majority of them made between $31,000 and $82,000 in 2011. Those that worked for the government made an average of $53,000 while those that worked for private organizations made $35,000.

Peace Officer

The exact requirements that a person will have to meet to become a peace officer depend on the organization he or she wants to become employed through. Most times, this type of officer will have to pass a background check, pass a drug test, and fill out application paperwork before being hired; however, some employers do not enforce all of these requirements. Once being hired, a person usually has to go through some type of training as well as pass a peace officer examination. Furthermore, he or she may have to pass physical examinations and certain types of psychological tests before being fully hired.

The title peace officer is many times used interchangeably with other types of title such as a police officer or corrections officer. A person who wants to become an officer should identify the exact job duties he or she wants to carry out, as this will determine the exact type of officer that he or she is desiring to become. If he or she finds that a police officer is preferable, of course the requirements will be different than those mentioned above.

Probation Officer

In order to become a probation and parole officer, a person will usually have to meet an assortment of requirements. Most states require that a person be at least 21 years of age before becoming this type of officer, and some states even have their own maximum age limit. Most employers of probation and parole officers prefer for their officers to hold a four-year degree in criminal justice. Many will prefer that this degree have some type of specialization in corrections.

Even though some agencies do not require a person to have a certain type of degree to become hired as a probation officer, such a degree will most certainly help a person stand out from other applicants. While obtaining a degree, it is very valuable for a person to take part in internships at local substance abuse centers, detention centers, and more, as this helps to increase the person’s qualifications to become a probation officer.

Substance Abuse Counselor

There are different ways that a person can go about becoming a substance abuse counselor. Within every state, almost every region has its own requirements that have to be met in order to become this type of counselor. Some areas require that a person have an extensive educational background, while others simply only require that a person have a high school diploma.

Many people who become a substance abuse counselor are addicts who have entered in recovery themselves. They feel that since they are able to stay clean from drugs and alcohol, they would like to help other people stay clean by providing them with substance abuse treatment counseling services. Substance abuse counselors can find employment at a wide variety of locations including schools, rehab centers, hospitals, and more.

Juvenile Corrections

Juvenile detention employees perform a variety of job duties that are directly related to juveniles who are incarcerated within the jail system. They are tasked with supervising the inmates, providing security within the prison and supervising the inmates’ health. Juvenile correctional employees also supervise inmates who are being transported to other facilities, court houses and work sites.

Some employees within the juvenile detention system are responsible for monitoring specific inmates’ actions and personal well-being. These inmates usually have psychological issues related to past drug abuse or internal family problems. They often perform psychological evaluation and help with the rehabilitation process.

Employees working within the juvenile detention system often experience high amounts of stress. Inmates can often become confrontational, violent and there is significant safety risks that must be dealt with on a daily basis. While high stress levels are common, the work can be very rewarding.

Juvenile Correctional Case Manager

A juvenile correctional case manager works with young offenders who are in the juvenile court system to monitor their progress and help prevent them from reoffending. They work with the juveniles themselves as well as families, the courts and any other organizations involved in the juvenile justice system. This may include working to get the family into counseling, arranging mentors for troubled youth and intervening in crisis situations. Case managers make recommendations for the treatment of juveniles from the time of their arrest until they are successfully off parole and reintegrated into a normal life.

The job of a juvenile correctional case manager is a specialty within the field of probation officer and other types of case managers within the criminal justice system where the median salary is around $47,000 per year.

Juvenile Correctional Counselor

When you want to work with juveniles who have been in and out of correctional facilities, it is possible to work as a juvenile correctional counselor. A juvenile correctional counselor helps juvenile offenders seek a better path in life by improving their outlooks on life and assisting them with education and seeking a suitable job for each individual. A juvenile correctional counselor can also be considered a career coach for many juvenile inmates who are unsure of their options involving getting an education and finding a job placement that is right for them.

Many juvenile correctional counselors work in both group and individual therapy sessions with the inmates they are working with depending on the correction facility itself. Counseling and understanding the thoughts and emotions of the juvenile offenders in any facility is the responsibility of a juvenile correctional counselor.

Providing advice and guidance in relation to seeking a future career or pursuing education is also another responsibility of a juvenile correctional counselor.

Juvenile Corrections Officer

When you want to work in criminal justice and you have a desire to work for the Department of Corrections, you can do so by searching for correctional officer jobs. Working as a juvenile corrections officer is a way to help assist young adults and individuals to get on the right track when you are working within a corrections facility each day.

Working as a juvenile corrections officer may require you to supervise any juvenile individuals who are currently serving time in a correctional facility for anything from theft and truancy to potential violent crimes including murder. Ensuring the juveniles are maintaining their cells and the entire facility is clean at all times may also be part of your responsibilities when working as a juvenile corrections officer. The average salary of a juvenile corrections officer is approximately $39,000 annually, greatly depending on where you are hired and whether you work part or full-time.

Juvenile Correctional Treatment Specialist

A juvenile correctional treatment specialist works with underage inmates that are housed within a juvenile detention center. They prepare juvenile inmates for eventual release back into society by providing advice, monitoring their behavior and creating an action plan. This type of work often includes psychological evaluations and treatment for past drug and sexual abuse issues.

If you are considering a career as a juvenile correctional treatment specialist, carefully weigh the pros and cons of the job. There is a certain amount of risk involved when dealing with juvenile inmates.

The average salary for a juvenile correctional treatment specialist in 2010 was $47,200. A criminal justice degree is necessary for employment in this field. Many correctional treatment specialists have also taken a number psychology classes; however, on-the-job training is provided for new hires.

Juvenile Probation Counselor

A juvenile probation counselor spends his or her time providing guidance to young adults who have gotten themselves into trouble with the juvenile justice system. Many times, the guidance comes in the form of substance abuse counseling, creating and implementing behavioral treatment plans, and also providing mental health services.

In order to become a juvenile probation counselor, a person will need to obtain at least a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college. Most times, a degree is psychology is preferred. This type of counselor must be able to help young adults understand the reasons they are in trouble, followed then by helping the young person take preventative measures to ensure that the crime does not play out again.

Juvenile probation counselors usually spend much time in juvenile court with their clients. They create treatment plans and then present these plans to a judge, so that a judge can fully assess the situation of a client before drawing any conclusions. Many times, through the help a juvenile probation counselor, young offenders can avoid being convicted of a crime.

Juvenile Probation Officer

Many times a juvenile probation officer is referred to a youth probation officer. In order to become this type of officer, a person will need to obtain a post-secondary degree from an accredited college. While some people obtain degrees in criminal justice to become this type of officer, many obtain a degree in psychology. Either type of degree will suffice.

The requirements to become a juvenile probation officer vary according to the state that a person wants to work in. Most states require these types of officers to pass certain examinations as well as undergo drug testing and a background check. These types of probation officers must have strong administrative skills because they often spend time preparing and presenting clients’ court records and treatment plans to judges. A juvenile probation officer salary level is usually about $42,500 a year.

Local Corrections

Careers in criminal justice at the level of local corrections would involve working within city or county jails or court systems and could encompass many things from counseling and working on programs to job train inmates to guarding prisoners and more.

Most jobs in criminal justice can be difficult and stressful and have an element of danger, and local corrections is no exception. In addition, it is on the lower-paying end of the scale for criminal justice work. The median salary for correctional officers at the local level is around $39,000, but the lowest paid may earn $26,000 per year or less. However, local corrections can be a good place to begin a career in criminal justice with entry-level positions available at jails or the county sheriff’s office with a high school diploma and some training on the job or at an academy in some cases.

Local Correctional Case Manager

People who monitor the progress of inmates are known as correctional case managers. Not only do these managers monitor the progress of offenders who are locked away inside prisons and detention centers, but many times, they also monitor their progress once they have been released.

The job that a correctional case manager carries out is one that seriously affects society as a whole. While an offender is locked up, a case manager will usually step in and assess the offender’s risk level. This risk level determines whether or not an offender is to be locked away in a minimum or maximum security area. In some instances, it is determined that an offender can actually spend his or her sentencing time in a half way house.

In order to become a corrections case manager, a person will need to obtain at least a bachelor’s degree. Some people who become this type of manager obtain a degree in criminal justice, psychology, or even human resources. In addition to meeting certain educational requirements, a correctional case manager cannot be a felon.

Local Corrections Officer

Local corrections officers work in city or county jails and supervise inmates who have just been arrested, are awaiting trial or who are serving sentences of less than one year. They assist police officers with the intake of new inmates, transport inmates to court houses, state and federal facilities and assist inmates with psychological issues.

Work hours for local corrections officers often vary and overtime is common. Carefully consider the risks involved with working inside a local or county prison before pursuing a career in the jail system.

Individuals who work in local and county jail facilities made an average of $39,020 in 2010. This salary can vary greatly depending on which county or city you work in. Some entry-level prison employees make as much as $60,000 per year.

While a degree is not required for prison work, a criminal justice degree may help improve your chances of getting a promotion in the future.

State Corrections

In order to become a state police officer, a person will have to meet an assortment of requirements. Most states require that state officers meet certain educational requirements as well as pass a wide variety of examinations. Even after meeting these requirements, additional criteria must be fulfilled such as passing an intensive training course.

Most states require that a state police officer be at least 21 years of age. Many also require an officer to have at least an associate’s degree from an accredited college or university. Once these requirements have been met, then an applicant must pass a civil service exam. A person who applies to become a state officer must also be able to pass a physical agility test, or he or she will not be able to continue in the hiring process. In addition to all the previously listed exams and tests, a state police officer must pass a background check, a polygraph exam, and a drug test.

State Correctional Administration

Individuals who are employed as state correctional administrators oversee the daily operation of state prisons. They manage the finances, oversee training of the officers and ensure that maximum security is maintained at all times. They ensure that correctional regulations are followed at all times and adjust internal procedures as necessary.

Those seeking employment with the Department of Corrections as an administrator should obtain a criminal justice degree. Qualified candidates will have years of experience as a correctional officer, probation officer or in some other law enforcement position.

In 2010, salaries for state correctional administrators ranged from $91,445 to $126,249. Normally, correctional administrator salaries vary greatly and are based on location. They are often negotiated and may increase based on overall performance of the facility and if there is any room left in the budget.

State Correctional Case Management

Individuals employed as state correctional case managers play a key role in rehabilitating inmates and preparing them to re-enter regular society. They make psychological evaluations, help inmates deal with prior substance abuse issues and form action plans for inmates well in advance. They work individually with each inmate to ensure their success in normal life once they have been released.

Individuals who are planning to work in corrections should carefully consider the risks involved and should weigh their options before pursuing a career.

In 2010, state correctional case managers earned an average salary of $47,200. Salaries vary and depend on where the case manager works and what type of union contract they have.

State correctional case managers are normally required to have a degree in criminal justice with a background in psychology.

State Correctional Officer

State correctional officers are tasked with overseeing incarcerated individuals located in state correctional facilities. They supervise individuals that are being transported to and from the courthouse, within the prisons themselves and while they complete work assignments. They are tasked with maintaining law and order within the state corrections system.

Those that wish to seek employment opportunities within the corrections system should obtain a criminal justice degree, especially if they plan to apply for a supervisory position later in their careers.

The average correctional officer salary in 2011 was $39,997. During this time, some officers earned as little as $31,000 per year while others earned as much as $58,000 per year, depending on where the officer was employed. Once a state correctional officer is promoted to a supervisory role, they often see a large increase in their salary.

Federal Corrections

Federal corrections or federal prisons are operated on a national scale by government parties. For example: the Federal Bureau of Prisons is solely responsible for the functionality and system of federal prisons in the United States. The Federal Bureau of Prisons guards society by keeping delinquents confined in controlled prison environments of community-based facilities. In some cases, convicts may be faced with prison sentences within the federal prisons as a result of breaking the law.

The vast majority of federal government departments employ agents with the sole purpose of assuring the safety of American citizens. The obligatory criteria desired to be met by each individual candidate will often vary for entry into the desired positions. Federal agents undergo investigative process of crimes and violations of federal law, for example: smuggling of drugs, human trafficking, and bank robbery. It is in the responsibility of the federal agent to uphold specific areas of federal law.

Federal Correctional Administrator

A federal corrections administrator is tasked with overseeing every operation of their specific prison. They are responsible for ensuring that all necessary training takes place, that a high level of security is maintained and that the prison stays within its budget.

A federal prison administrator must also ensure that his or her staff follow federal prison regulations at all times and that all inmates are treated fairly in accordance with federal prison laws.

Individuals who are seeking careers with the Federal Department of Corrections must hold a degree in criminal justice. Candidates should also have extensive experience within the federal prison system and should expect to be put through a rigorous background check.

In 2010, federal prison administrators made $100,000. This number could change depending on union contracts, budgets and promotions.

Federal Correctional Case Manager

Federal correctional case managers work with offenders within the federal prison system. They work with both inmates as a group and as individuals. They plan and design programs that train inmates in jobs and other life skills and look at data and overall needs among offenders. They also counsel individuals and attempt to identify their specific needs while they are within the federal correctional institution as well as developing strategies that will take them through their release and parole period. Federal correctional case managers may have master’s or even doctoral degrees and extensive experience in corrections.

Salaries for those working in federal corrections tend to be on the higher end for employment among criminal justice case managers with typical salaries ranging from around $57,000 to $80,000 per year.

Federal Corrections Officer

As a federal corrections officer, a person oversees offenders who are waiting to go to trial as well as those people who are serving time for their crimes. In order to obtain correctional officer jobs, there are several requirements that must be met.

First of all, an applicant must be at least 21 years of age, but no older than 37 when he or she is hired. Also, this type of officer cannot have any felony convictions; this does not apply to felony charges. As long as the person was not convicted, felony charges to not affect a person’s ability to become a federal officer.

Most federal agencies require that a federal corrections officer have at least a bachelor’s degree. After age and educational requirements have been met, a person will then have to undergo a thorough interview process before being hired as a federal corrections officer. Most agencies require that a person take a pass a number of written and oral tests as well as pass a physical examination.

Federal Probation Officer

A person will need to obtain a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college in order to become a federal probation officer. Common areas that a person could major in would be social work and corrections. Some places that hire federal probation officers require that a person obtain a higher level degree than a bachelor’s as well as obtain a certain amount of work experience. Unlike becoming a probation officer at a county or state detention center, in order to work within a federal prison, a person will have to undergo specialized training.

In addition to obtaining a degree, there are other requirements that must meet to work as a federal probation officer. One such requirement includes applying for a federal probation officer job position when the applicant is over 21 but under the age of 37. A person also has to be in good physical shape to work with federal prison inmates. In addition, a person is required to go through an extensive interview process which includes both oral and written examinations.

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