Correctional officers serve on the front line of the criminal justice system. They are the men and women responsible for guarding people who have been arrested or who have been convicted of a crime and sentenced to serve time in jail.
Duties include searching prisoners and their cells for weapons, drugs, and other forbidden items, supervising inmate activities, and maintaining good order, even if it means breaking up fights between prisoners.
Physical strength can be important. But strength of character may be most important of all. Correctional officers have a great deal of power over the lives of their charges, so they must have the ability to be scrupulously firm and fair at all times. A prison environment can be stressful and demanding; nevertheless, with integrity and the ability to keep pressure situations under control, correctional officers will continue to remain key to the effective operation of our nation’s prison system.