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Career Story: Corrections Officer A Big City Prison

Corrections Officer A Big City Prison

Job Title: Corrections Officer

Type of Company: I work for a prison in Boston, Massachusetts.

Education: BA, Criminal Justice

Previous Experience: I worked as a teacher at the Department of Youth Services.

Job Tasks: My primary responsibilities include the care, custody and control over inmates and detainees who are housed in the House of Correction. Most of the time we just oversee their daily activities, patrolling the unit they are in, feeding them, escorting them to court, programs, school, and many other places.

Sometimes I work in central control (which is much like radio dispatch in a police station). I also work in booking, where we process new inmates, taking their pictures and selecting the cells where they'll be housed. Another place I work in is visits. Here we set up and control who comes into the prison to visit them, such as lawyers and family members. We process them in and then oversee the visit by taking them all to a room where we have them sit at a table and visit with the inmate/detainee for up to an hour.

You must attend a training academy to work here or in any other law enforcement job so staying in good shape is a must. There are days when I have to restrain inmates and break up fights within the facility. Some of the people who work here also work outside the facility -- the K-9 officer and transportation officers, for example. They sometimes go to places like New York to transfer inmates or escort them to other facilities, courts, or even airports when necessary.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is the job security. During these tough economic times, it is good to know that I am working in a place that will not be closing any time soon.

The worst part of the job is the depressing environment. It can be very stressful to be around people who are in jail. Most of them feel very helpless and are recovering from addictions, depression, and hard living outside the facility. You must be able to recognize a lot of psychological problems that this environment can precipitate.

Job Tips: Stay in school and get an education. Law enforcement jobs pay more based on education. Also, remember that these jobs have seniority status, so you will probably have to start at the bottom and work your way up. Demonstrate your abilities as often as you can.

Corrections is a good stepping stone for anyone looking to move on to other law enforcement jobs. A lot of the people who come to work here go on to work for city, state or Federal law enforcement agencies.

It isn't like what you see on television so don't imagine that it is an exciting job. Most of the time, in fact, it is very boring. It is not as crazy as television makes it seem. Most of the time we just watch over the inmates/detainees while they go about their daily activities.

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Brightwood College
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