What Are the Duties of a Correctional Officer?


Quick Answer

Correctional officers oversee inmates and detainees in jails and prisons, notes the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Duties of a correctional officer typically include enforcing the rules, keeping order and reporting on the conduct of inmates.

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Full Answer

Although duties vary widely based on assignment and state, correctional officers may aid in rehabilitating and counseling offenders, notes the BLS. They may also perform inmate searches to find contraband and inspect the facilities to ensure that they meet established standards.

Supervision of inmates is the main role of the correctional officer, reports the BLS. The correctional officer enforces regulations and rules of the specific jail or prison and makes sure that inmates and detainees obey the rules. Keeping order among the inmates is also an important task. Correctional officers prevent inmates from escaping, assaulting other inmates or causing disturbances. They are responsible for knowing where inmates are and what inmates are doing at all times.

Some correctional officers have the authority to sanction inmates for bad behavior or violations of rules, notes the BLS. Correctional officers may also be responsible for scheduling activities for inmates, including work detail, educational opportunities and counseling sessions. Additionally, correctional officers sometimes provide transportation and escort services to inmates attending court or receiving off-site medical care.

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