What do Correctional Officers and Jailers do?

Guard inmates in penal or rehabilitative institutions in accordance with established regulations and procedures. May guard prisoners in transit between jail, courtroom, prison, or other point. Includes deputy sheriffs and police who spend the majority of their time guarding prisoners in correctional institutions.

  • Conduct head counts to ensure that each prisoner is present.
  • Monitor conduct of prisoners in housing unit, or during work or recreational activities, according to established policies, regulations, and procedures, to prevent escape or violence.
  • Inspect conditions of locks, window bars, grills, doors, and gates at correctional facilities to ensure security and help prevent escapes.
  • Record information, such as prisoner identification, charges, and incidences of inmate disturbance, and keep daily logs of prisoner activities.
  • Search prisoners and vehicles and conduct shakedowns of cells for valuables and contraband, such as weapons or drugs.
  • Use weapons, handcuffs, and physical force to maintain discipline and order among prisoners.
  • Inspect mail for the presence of contraband.
  • Guard facility entrances to screen visitors.
  • Maintain records of prisoners' identification and charges.
  • Process or book convicted individuals into prison.
  • Settle disputes between inmates.
  • Conduct fire, safety, and sanitation inspections.
  • Provide to supervisors oral and written reports of the quality and quantity of work performed by inmates, inmate disturbances and rule violations, and unusual occurrences.
  • Participate in required job training.
  • Take prisoners into custody and escort to locations within and outside of facility, such as visiting room, courtroom, or airport.
  • Serve meals, distribute commissary items, and dispense prescribed medication to prisoners.
  • Counsel inmates and respond to legitimate questions, concerns, and requests.
  • Drive passenger vehicles and trucks used to transport inmates to other institutions, courtrooms, hospitals, and work sites.
  • Use nondisciplinary tools and equipment such as a computer.
  • Assign duties to inmates, providing instructions as needed.
  • Investigate crimes that have occurred within an institution, or assist police in their investigations of crimes and inmates.
  • Issue clothing, tools, and other authorized items to inmates.
  • Arrange daily schedules for prisoners including library visits, work assignments, family visits, and counseling appointments.
  • Search for and recapture escapees.
  • Supervise and coordinate work of other correctional service officers.
  • Sponsor inmate recreational activities such as newspapers and self-help groups.

Related Jobs (Correctional Officers and Jailers)

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Necessary Skills

  • Social Perceptiveness
  • Active Listening
  • Speaking
  • Monitoring
  • Critical Thinking
  • Coordination
  • Reading Comprehension

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