Correctional officers, also known as detention officers, generally work in prisons, jails, reformatories and penitentiaries, and may also work in courthouses or with the Immigration and Naturalization Service. Their job is to oversee, secure and control arrested individuals awaiting trial or those convicted and incarcerated.
Correctional officers maintain security to prevent riots, disturbances, assaults and escapes. Their law enforcement jurisdiction is limited to the institution for which they work, but they also have limited law enforcement responsibilities or powers outside the institution.
While correctional officers work in a variety of criminal justice institutions, their basic responsibilities remain the same, including:
To fulfill their responsibilities, correctional officers may be required to:
Most federal and state corrections departments base training and performance on guidelines established by the American Correctional Association and the American Jail Association.