Supervisors of Correctional Officers
Supervisors of correctional officers oversee and coordinate the activities of correctional officers and jailers. They maintain security and inmate accountability in order to prevent assaults, escapes and disturbances. They ensure the rules and regulations are enforced. Correctional officer supervisors also make sure that correctional officers monitor the inmates' activities and oversee the inmates' work assignments.
- Maintain order, discipline and security in assigned areas
- Enforce institutional policies, procedures, rules and regulations
- Perform and check periodic inmate counts
- Oversee correctional officers
- Instruct employees and provide on-the-job training
- Respond to emergencies
- Supervise and perform searches on inmates and their living quarters to locate contraband items
- Monitor the behavior of subordinates to ensure they are behaving properly
- Complete administrative paperwork and supervise the preparation and maintenance of reports, records and forms
Supervisors of correctional officers usually have to meet standards of physical fitness, hearing and eyesight. Many jurisdictions utilize standard tests in order to determine if candidates are suitable to work in a correctional setting. Good judgement and the ability to think and act quickly are very important for the occupation.
Working in correctional institutions can be stressful and hazardous. Correctional officer supervisors are at risk for injuries. Some correctional facilities are well lit, well ventilated and temperature-controlled, whereas other correctional institutions are hot, noisy and overcrowded.
Employment growth for first-line supervisors/managers of correctional officers is projected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to be 9 percent from 2008 to 2018 which is as fast as the average for all occupations. An increase in demand for correctional officers and correctional officer supervisors will occur due to population growth and rising rates of incarceration.
The median annual earnings for first-line supervisors/managers of correctional officers in 2008 was $57,380. The highest paid 10 percent earned more than $86,970.
Education, Certification, and Licensing
Correctional officer supervisors typically receive most of their training on the job. All agencies require correctional officer supervisors to have a high school diploma and some agencies require some college coursework or related work experience. Most correctional officer supervisors began their careers as correctional officers.
The primary employers are state and local governments in correctional institutions including prisons, youth correctional facilities and prison camps. The Federal government also employs supervisors of correctional officers.