Home Careers Homework News Links Learning Courses

Justice Careers

Table of Contents

Chapter 3: Corrections Careers

Correctional agencies serve victims, offenders, and the community. In recent years the justice system has moved from rehabilitation to crime prevention and reduction. Retribution and punishment have always been key themes in corrections, as has the key goal of incapacitation. Efforts toward rehabilitation continue, and many career options are centered on this goal, but there is no denying that the goals of corrections have shifted as the system has adopted increasingly punitive responses to crime.

Corrections careers are found in a variety of federal, state, and local agencies. Unlike law enforcement, where job duties can range significantly from one agency to another, corrections careers are similar at each governmental level. The following job descriptions provide general information about careers in corrections. Before moving to these descriptions, here are a few general links of interest.

General Links

Federal:

Federal Bureau of Prisons

http://www.bop.gov/

Federal Bureau of Prisons - Directory

http://www.bop.gov/facilnot.html#fac

Federal Resource Center for Children of Prisoners

http://www.cwla.org/programs/incarcerated/cop_03.htm

United States Sentencing Commission

http://www.ussc.gov/

State:

Correction.com – Directory of State Agencies

http://www.corrections.com/links/viewlinks.asp?Cat=5

NIC – Directory of State Corrections Agencies

http://www.nicic.org/Misc/DOCWebSiteDirectory.aspx

Local:

Corrections.com

http://www.corrections.com/links/viewlinks.asp?Cat=4

Associations and General Information:

American Correctional Association

http://www.aca.org/

American Jail Association

http://www.corrections.com/aja/index.shtml

Corrections Connection

http://www.corrections.com

International Community Corrections Association

http://www.iccaweb.org/

International Corrections and Prisons Association

http://www.icpa.ca/

JUSTNET - Justice Technology Information Network

http://www.nlectc.org/

National Institute of Corrections

http://www.nicic.org/

NIC - Links to State Corrections Agencies

http://www.nicic.org/Misc/DOCWebSiteDirectory.aspx

PrisonsandJails.com

http://www.prisonsandjails.com/

The Sentencing Project

http://www.sentencingproject.org/

United States Sentencing Commission

http://www.ussc.gov/

Corrections Career Information

Case Manager

Description and Duties

Case managers counsel inmates, evaluate inmate behavior and progress, and help inmates prepare for release from incarceration. Case managers plan education and training programs to improve offenders’ job skills. They may also provide coping, anger management, and drug or sexual abuse counseling. Case Managers may also work in parole or probation agencies as they develop plans for release and parole. In some states the job of case manager overlaps with that of “treatment specialists” or other mental health professionals.

Links

American Association for Correctional Psychology

http://www.eaacp.org

Bureau of Labor Statistics – Occupational Outlook Handbook

http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos265.htm

Mental Health in Corrections Consortium

http://www.mhcca.org/

Classification Officer

Description and Duties

Prisoner classification officers interview inmates, compile social and criminal histories, and recommend rehabilitation services. The prisoner classification interview includes an examination of the prisoner's attitudes, mental capacity, character, and physical capabilities. This interview also provides an opportunity to explain prison rules and regulations. Most states have systems that place inmates based on “levels” or other classifications. Placement in a particular level has implications regarding recreation, time out of cells, and other issues involving inmate contact. Correctional facilities also seek to minimize conflict by identifying relational situations between inmates that would likely result in conflict. Classification officers make determinations about the appropriate placement level and seek to identify potential conflicts so prisoners can be placed in a safe environment that minimizes stress on the institution.

Links

Bureau of Labor Statistics – Occupational Outlook Handout

http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos265.htm

Handbook for Evaluating Objective Prison Classification Systems

http://www.nicic.org/pubs/1992/010675.pdf

Community Corrections

Description

In response to increasing costs of incarceration and prison construction, and a recidivism rate that point out the failure of incarceration, criminal justice professionals continuously work to perfect or create corrective rehabilitation programs to administer to offenders in lieu of incarceration. Community Corrections programs evolved from these needs. These community-based agencies administer programs that divert non-violent offenders from prison. These programs include probation, intensive probation, electronic monitoring, and other alternatives. Programs are coordinated by local courts and correctional agencies and may be run by governmental and/or private agencies.

Links

Community Justice Exchange

http://communityjustice.org/home.asp

Community Resources for Justice

http://www.crjustice.org/index.html

International Community Corrections Association

http://www.iccaweb.org/

Correctional Administrator

Description and Duties

Correctional administrators oversee the operations of prisons and provide leadership, supervision and staff training. Prisons have a hierarchical leadership structure similar to that found in the military. Ranks in the correctional system typically start at Officer, then Sergeant, Lieutenant, Captain, and finally Warden. Other administrative ranks may include unit managers, who may be responsible for the oversight of a group of cells, sometimes known as “pods.” Senior corrections administrators may be responsible for everything from formulating policies, goals and objectives, to communicating with the press and general public. Correctional Administrators may also represent prison interests in litigation matters.

Links

American Correctional Association

http://www.aca.org/

Association of State Correctional Administrators

http://www.asca.net/

Corrections.com

http://www.corrections.com/

Correctional Management Institute

http://www.shsu.edu/cjcenter/CMIT/

International Corrections and Prisons Association

http://www.icpa.ca/

National Institute of Corrections

http://www.nicic.org/

Correctional Educator

Description and Duties

Correctional educators may be found working in settings that include prisons, jails, juvenile justice facilities, and various community based settings. The programs they teach include instruction in academic, vocational, life skills, parenting, English as a second language, literacy, and post-secondary education. Inmates are often able to earn the General Education Degree while in prison. Many states require that prisoners engage in some form of educational programming. Correctional educators include professionals contributing as researchers, teachers, vocational instructors, counselors, administrators, librarians, and more. Their employers may be from the federal, state, or local level and can be either private for profit or private non-profit agencies. In most cases correctional educators are required to be licensed educators in the state in which they teach.

Links

Correctional Education Association

http://www.ceanational.org/

Correctional Education Links

http://www.nwlincs.org/correctional_education/home.htm

National Institute for Correctional Education

http://www.iup.edu/nice/

U.S. Department of Education – Office of Correctional Education

http://www.ed.gov/offices/OVAE/AdultEd/OCE/index.html

Correctional Health Care Professional

Description and Responsibilities

Along with the typical healthcare issues found in the general population, correctional healthcare professionals work in a closed system in which healthcare problems can spread quickly. These professionals may also be confronted with a higher incidence of HIV, substance abuse, and mental health problems. Prison healthcare facilities typically address systemic problems and care for prisoners with chronic and/or minor health issues. More serious problems may result in transfer to local hospitals. As prisoners may remain confined through the end of their lives, hospice care may also be provided.

Links

American Correctional Health Services Association

http://www.corrections.com/achsa

Corrections Healthcare Network

http://www.corrections.com/healthnetwork/

Institute for Criminal justice Healthcare

http://www.icjh.org/

National Commission on Correctional Health Care

http://www.ncchc.org/

National Prison Hospice Association

http://www.npha.org/abtnpha.html

Society of Correctional Physicians

http://www.corrdocs.org

Correctional Officer

Description and Duties

Correctional officers oversee individuals who have been arrested and are awaiting trial or who have been convicted of a crime and sentenced to serve time in an adult or juvenile correctional facility. Along with correctional administrators, these officers maintain order and enforce the institution’s rules and regulations. Correctional officers have the closest level of contact with inmates and as such, are in the best position to observe activity that is against the law or in conflict with institutional rules. These officers may be responsible for searching inmates and their living quarters for weapons or drugs and are expected to enforce discipline within the facility. Correctional officers also settle disputes between inmates, enforce safety regulations, and accompany inmates during transfers between cells and other institutional facilities.

Links

American Jail Association

http://www.corrections.com/aja/index.shtml

Bureau of Labor Statistics – Occupational Outlook Handbook

http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos156.htm

USA Jobs

http://www.usajobs.opm.gov/

Inmate Transition Officer

Duties and Responsibilities

Inmate transition officers help inmates, and often their families, plan for successful reentry in to the community. They teach inmates who are scheduled to be released about job search strategies and may assist in the job placement of recently released individuals.

Links

UNICOR – Inmate Transition Branch

http://www.unicor.gov/placement/ipprogram.htm

Legal Specialist

Description

The constitution guarantees prisoners the right to court access. However, some departments or individual facilities have adopted policies that restrict this access. Efforts to restrict access are often based on the perception that prisoners file frivolous lawsuits. While the cumulative cost of these suits can be significant, there are many ways to reduce these costs while maintaining access to the courts. Inmates typically do not have legal representation while in prison even though they remain involved with appeals and other issues related to their cases. Inmates also keep ties to the outside world and may need assistance with legal questions related to family, property, and other issues. Many correctional institutions employ legal specialists who provide legal research to prisoners. Institutions have recognized the advantages of employing legal assistants who can help prisoners learn more about their options when faced with a grievance. Prison legal specialists help resolve disputes, provide assistance with legal research, file motions, and assist with other legal issues.

Links

LII – Corrections Law Materials

http://www.law.cornell.edu/topics/corrections.html

Prison Activist Resource Center

http://www.prisonactivist.org/

Prison Law Office

http://www.prisonlaw.com/

Librarian

Duties and Responsibilities

Correctional librarians direct library programs for residents and staff of prisons and other residential correctional facilities. In additional to administrative duties associated with the management and staffing of traditional libraries, correctional librarians address access and security issues that are different from those found in traditional library settings. As with any library, the librarian selects books and other library materials according to the educational background and special needs of residents.

Links

Prison Librarianship Clearinghouse

American Library Association

Pretrial Services

Duties and Responsibilities

Concerns about jail overcrowding and the discriminatory impact of bail have motivated many jurisdictions to adopt alternatives. Pretrial programs have been established in rural, suburban, and urban areas and are used in probation departments, court offices, and local jails. These programs are administered by governmental as well as independent or private agencies. Most of these programs rely on supervised pretrial release programs in which defendants are released to their communities, although closely monitored, on their promise to adhere to certain court-ordered conditions.

Links

National Association of Pretrial Services Agencies

http://www.napsa.org/

Pretrial Services Resource Center

http://www.pretrial.org/

Prison Industries

Duties and Responsibilities

Many prisons have on-site industries that produce furniture, clothing, and other saleable goods or services. Professionals in these facilities perform supervisory and training duties similar to that found in traditional factories housed outside prison walls. Correctional facilities also rely on inmate labor in kitchen, maintenance, and other areas and may also have maintenance agreements with other state agencies. Although these industries have been the subject of controversy, and workers are compensated at very low levels, these industries provide the opportunity to learn skills that can translate to employment on release. In addition to levels of supervision and training similar to that found in any manufacturing setting, correctional settings create additional concerns related to security.

Links

National Correctional Industries Association

http://www.nationalcia.org/

NCIA – Links to State Correctional Industries

http://www.nationalcia.org/indlinks2.html

U.S. Department of Justice – Federal Prison Industries

http://www.unicor.gov/

Probation and Parole Officer

Description and Duties

The job of parole and probation officer is often combined and the duties are similar. Probation officers supervise people who have been placed on probation as an alternative to incarceration. Parole officers supervise offenders who have been released from prison on parole. In each case the officer is charged with ensuring that the offender complies with the conditions of their probation or parole. These justice professionals supervise offenders through personal contact with the offenders and their families. Offenders may be required to wear an electronic device so that probation officers can monitor their location and movements. In other cases a strict schedule is imposed and the officer can monitor activity through random visits to the home, workplace, and other locations. Officers often arrange substance abuse counseling, education, job training, housing, and other community-based services. Probation officers also serve the courts by investigating the background of offenders brought before the court, writing pre-sentence reports, and making sentencing recommendations.

Links

American Probation and Parole Association

http://www.appa-net.org/

Bureau of Labor Statistics – Occupational Outlook Handbook

http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos265.htm

National Association of Probation Executives

http://www.napehome.org/

Pretrial Services Resource Center

http://www.pretrial.org/

Serious and Violent Offender Reentry Initiative

http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/reentry/

United States Parole Commission

http://www.usdoj.gov/uspc/parole.htm

Recreational Coordinator

Duties and Responsibilities

Recreational coordinators identify inmate recreation and sports interests and plan for equipment, facility, and personnel needs. These justice professionals define and implement programs that seek to address inmate social and recreational needs. In some facilities teams play an intramural league schedule with local teams that visit the facility for games. Recreational coordinators may also be responsible for coordinating inmate participation in arts and crafts and other hobbies.

Links

National Correctional Recreation Association

http://www.strengthtech.com/

Prison Service Sports Association

http://www.pssa.org.uk/

Security Intelligence Officer

Description and Duties

Security intelligence officers collect and analyze information gained through informants and observation. These officers monitor the activity of prison gangs and others who pose a threat to institutional safety and security. These officers gather intelligence to proactively prevent violence and the introduction of narcotics and dangerous contraband. Security intelligence officers often work cooperatively with other justice agencies. These officers may also be part of a “Security Threat Group” that has been trained in the use of lethal and non-lethal responses to problems in prison settings.

Links

JUSTNET – Links to Security Threat Group and gangs

http://www.nlectc.org/links/ganglinks.html

Gang and Security Threat Group (Florida)

http://www.dc.state.fl.us/pub/gangs/

Security Threat Group Information (Massachusetts)

http://www.mass.gov/doc/GANG/gang1.htm

Table of Contents

 
Google
 
Web cjstudents.com


Creative Commons License

horizontal line

Webmaster