Correctional Officer and Prison Guards: Protecting America’s Prisons

Corrections Officer

What is a Correctional / Corrections Officer?

A Correctional Officer is a person who is charged with the responsibility of the supervision of prisoners in a jail, prison or detention center. Other terms for prison officer include Corrections Officer, Correctional Officer, Prison Guard, Detention Officer, and Prison Warder.

Correctional officers are generally responsible for the care, custody, and control of individuals who have been arrested and are awaiting trial or who have been convicted of a crime and have been sentenced to serve time in a prison or jail. Corrections officers are also responsible for the safety and security of a correctional facility.

Most prison officers are employed by the federal or state government, city, or county, though some Correctional Officers are employed by private companies.

As of this writing, there were approximately 500,000 prison officers employed in various facilities throughout the United States.

Private investigators and law enforcement officer should be familiar with prisons and prison guards, usually related to situations involving witness interviews. Detectives often enter prisons to talk to inmates who may have been a party to a crime, or who may have witnessed some act. Private eyes and cops must visit the facility to take statements and gather evidence.

Corrections Officer and Prison Guard Websites

American Correctional Association – Website of the American Correctional Association.  The American Correctional Association is the oldest and largest international correctional association in the world.  The ACA serves all disciplines within the corrections profession.  Provides professional development and certification, standards, accreditation, networking opportunities, consulting services, research and publications, conferences, and technology.

American Jail Association – The American Jail Association (AJA) is a national, nonprofit organization that exists to support those who work in and operate our Nation’s jails and is the only national association that focuses exclusively on issues specific to the operations of local correctional facilities.

Correctional Officers – U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook on Correctional Officers.  Includes a thorough overview of the correctional officer profession, including nature of the work, job requirements, employment outlook, and more.

Information on obtaining a position as a correctional officer with the Federal Government is available from the Office of Personnel Management through USAJOBS, the Federal Government’s official employment information system.


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