Pros And Cons Of Being A Correctional Officer

Pros And Cons Of Being A Correctional Officer- BY CJ

Criminal Justice Career Guides

Pros And Cons Of Being A Correctional Officer

The correctional officers are primarily responsible for overseeing prison affairs. Society’s crimes are constantly increasing, and the number of people going to jail is subsequently growing. This direct relation of crimes with the number of people going to prison has increased the demand for correctional officers across the United States.

Due to the increased demand, many students across the US are interested in pursuing their career in this field. Are you one of those? If so, we have brought all the necessary Pros And Cons Of Being A Correctional Officer for you so that you can make the best  career decision for yourself.

Being a correctional officer

Being a correctional officer is not a bed of roses; you will have to supervise all the operations taking place at the Prison. In prison, there are two types of prisoners. The first ones have committed some sort of crime and are waiting for the court’s verdict. Second are those who had committed a crime, got sentenced from the court, and are spending the time of their punishment in jail.

Being a correctional officer, you will have to deal with both the types of prisoners. Your duties for the first type of prisoners will be to make arrangements for their appearance before the court. All the security arrangements on the way to the court and in the court will be your responsibility, not an easy job.

Your duties for the second type of prisoners will be to make necessary arrangements within the prison premises. For example, if there is a threat that the inmates will harm each other, you will have to put them in separate cells so that they do not hurt each other. Secondly, some of the criminals are high-value criminals, which means that someone will always be trying to break jail and escape them. This is your responsibility to ensure that the necessary security arrangements are being made.

Another essential duty of the correctional officers is to regulate all the internal affairs of the jail, this includes the deployment of all the guards and other staff, arrangements of food for the prisoners, and maintaining law and order in prison.

The daily life of a correctional officer

Many people wonder about a correctional officer’s daily routine and have this question in their minds, what’s it like being a corrections officer? If you are one of those, stick to the article we will walk you through a day in the life of a corrections officer so that you can have a better understanding of their daily routine and the dynamics of their work.

The correctional officers work five days a week, and their daily shift is 8 hours. The working day typically begins at 8 o’clock and ends at 4 o’clock. During their working hours, they are constantly in contact with their subordinates to manage prison affairs. Apart from the Jail staff, the correctional officers also engage with other law enforcement agencies’ officers.

As discussed earlier, the job is not easy; therefore, it requires you to be available around the clock. Because anything can happen at any time in the jail premises, the correctional officers might be called to jail even when their working hours are finished.

A correctional officer must have excellent verbal communication skills to communicate with his subordinates on the telephone rather than going to jail every then and now. If you have these skills, congratulations, your job as a correctional officer will be much easier.

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Pros And Cons Of Being A Correctional Officer

So you might be wondering, what benefits do correctional officers get? Like anything else, there are benefits of being a correctional officer and dangers associated with this job. We will begin by discussing the benefits first, and then we will be discussing the cons of this job.

Correctional Officer benefits 

In this section, we will discuss Pros Of Being A Correctional Officer

Pay Benefits

The first benefit of being a correctional officer is that they receive a handsome amount of pay. According to the bureau of labor statistics, a correctional officer’s average annual salary is $ 38,380 to $ 53,549.

Apart from the pay, the correctional officers also receive various types of allowances. Clothing allowance helps the correctional officers buy the uniforms they will wear while being on duty. They also receive health allowances from their respective states, which covers all the medications in it.

The correctional officers are allowed to retire at the age of 50, with 20 years of service. On retirement, they are being given handsome amounts of commutation and pension.


Job Security

The crime ratio in Society is constantly increasing. Therefore, correctional officers will not have to face downsizing. The indicators have been showing a constant increase in the employment opportunity for the correctional officers.

With each passing day, new prisons are being built up for the prisoners, and these prisons will require someone to oversee the daily affairs. So, if you plan to become a correctional officer, you need not worry about unemployment or job insecurity. All you have to do it to equip yourself with the right set of skills.

Career Advancement

The primary educational requirement for an entry-level position is just a high school diploma; therefore, the chances of this field’s advancements are higher. If you are working as a correctional officer, there are specific requirements that you must fulfill for career advancements, and these requirements are not complicated at all.

· The basic training program with excellent credentials

· Complete a two or four years degree program with good scores

· And gain experience by working in the department.

Once you are done with these simple steps, you will get promoted to the next position. A piece of advice from our side, always aim for a specific position and keeping that in mind, gain the relevant experience and educational degrees.

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Cons Of Being A Correctional Officer

As we discussed earlier, a correctional officer’s job is not a bed of roses, and there are some drawbacks of being a correctional officer. You shall go through them and decide your future’s fate accordingly but be mindful that these cons are not so big that you give up on your dream of becoming a correctional officer.

Long Training

The initial training for the correctional officers is of a long duration. During the training program, the trainees will have to stay away from their families. This might be problematic for some, but if you are fond of staying away from your family, you won’t be a problem.

The newly employed personals are required to complete 200 hours of basic training. Once they are done with this essential training program, they will be required to join the federal bureau of prisons, where they will have to complete an advanced training of 120 hours.

The training programs typically educate the students about the security standards, regulations, and standard operating procedures of Prisons’ prisons and institutional policies.


Many people are afraid of the job because of what they have heard about the dangers of being a correctional officer. Though there are many safety and precautionary measures taken for the staff of correctional facilities, there have been many reported incidents of physical harm to these facilities’ officers.

The dangerous prisoners in prison pose a threat to other inmates and correctional officers. For the staff’s safety, the correctional officers are adequately trained for the methods using which they can handle those dangerous inmates and ensure their safety.

Poor Working Conditions

The correctional officers have to work in all weather conditions, be it a hot sunny day or rainy day with thunderstorms, the correctional officers are on the go, and there is no excuse in the way of their duties. Secondly, the conditions of the prisons are not ideal for working. Some of the prisons are updated regularly, but most of them are problematic.

Due to these poor working conditions, some people have genuine questions: is being a correctional officer a good career?

Working Holidays And Odd shifts

The prisoners in the prisons need to be guarded around the clock, which compels the correctional officers to be available for 24 hours. The shift of a correctional officer is 8 hours, and it is entirely reasonable.

But the problem is with the constant rotation in the working hours, which could be problematic if you are new in the correctional officers. The department’s senior officers will more likely select the more relaxed timings for them and assign you with the odd timings.

Correctional Officer Reviews

We all know that the first-hand experience is always the most appropriate. Keeping this in mind, we have brought you reviews from the correctional officers who have worked in different correction facilities. These words from the experienced people will clear all the ambiguities in your mind regarding a correctional officer’s job.

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A former employee of the New York Correctional facility

The officer has worked for twenty years in the correctional facility and gave 4 star reviews. According to him, the hardest part of his job was the inmates’ misbehavior, and the best part was the working relationship that he had with his fellow officer.

A current employee of the correction facility of Jefferson City

The officer gave a five star rating to the job and said that the job has much growth potential. The only problem with being a correctional officer is that one has to put his life in danger, yet the pay offered to the correctional facilities staff is very low.

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