Duties of a Correctional Officer

Besides the general duties of keeping watch over inmates in an institution or during transportation, there are other responsibilities you will also have as a correctional officer. In order to keep everything orderly and to keep a tight schedule you and your fellow officers will need to execute certain tasks and responsibilities in a timely manner. If you are interested in having a career as a correctional officer, here are some of the main duties you will be responsible for.
• Escorting inmates from jail to court or whatever other destination that is required. Besides keeping a watchful eye on inmates in their cell, you will also have to keep watch and go with them from destination to destination as well. You may not always have to do it, but it will be one of your responsibilities.
• Respond to emergencies. There will be times where you will have to respond to certain emergency situations. You must ensure the safety of not only the public, but of also the other staff, and prisoners. These emergency situations may include a prisoner displaying aggressive behavior or a group of prisoners inciting a riot, fires, or other environmental emergencies.
• Keep records of activities. During your shift you will have to document everything that is occurring under your watch. It’s imperative to keep reports so the person following your shift knows what is going on and what actions he will need to take to ensure everything runs as smoothly as possible.
• Dispense any medication if necessary. There will be inmates that will need to be given medication at certain hours and it will be your responsibility to give it as directed. You will need to document the time you gave the medication as well to ensure the inmate’s health and eliminate the risk of giving too much medication.
• Direct inmates where they need to go. When it’s time for inmates to eat or have some recreational time, you will need to direct them where they need to go. Since there will be large groups of them, you will have to coordinate and work with other officers to make sure that everything is orderly.
• Keep supervision of inmates during their daily activities. Inmates do not stay in their cells all time and will need to be supervised during all their activities. This can include work assignments, their phone calls, and mail.
• Deliver supplies to inmates as necessary. You may need to deliver certain items such as clothing, bedding, and supplies to prisoners in their cells. This too will need to be documented as well and you will need to write down what the time you dropped the items off.
• Keeping count of the inmates. Since there are such large groups of inmates you will have to monitor and keep count of all inmates. Not only do you have to make sure that you keep count of everyone, you will have to ensure their identity as well. If there is anyone missing, you will need to warn your fellow officers and of course make a documentation of it.
Sources:
1. http://www.correct.state.ak.us/co_recruitment/materials/duties.jsf
2. http://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/33-3012.00
3. http://www.bls.gov/ooh/protective-service/correctional-officers.htm#tab-4

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