I really don't know that education is a lot of help in this occupation but basic criminal justice studies include psychology , investigations , cultural diversity and social skills all come in handy inside the "walls". Understanding people and their motives will help you to deal with these citizens. Its a different life. Probably worth trip to one of the local facilities to see what it looks like in real time. Not what you see on television or theaters.
Marcelius Levites’s Answer
***Look into Correctional Officer Education
-A prison is like a city behind bars and barbed wire. The prison has medical facilities, cafeterias, recreation areas, common areas, showers, and rooms for the residents. The prisoners who live in the prison have jobs they can perform if they are deemed well-behaved enough to do the work without incident. Just like a city, there are groups that form a type of gang. They stick together and protect each other. They also attack members of the other groups when a threat to them has been made. The prison has inmates who are leaders, followers, and loners. With all these different aspects to deal with, how does the Department of Corrections identify qualified candidates for the role of corrections officer?
Physical Fitness is Essential
An appropriate candidate that is physically fit is a must. Being able to defend oneself or others requires maintaining a high level of fitness. There will be times when restraining a prisoner is necessary to prevent injury to himself or others. The only equipment an officer will carry might be a baton. Correction Officers need to rely on themselves and not equipment to keep things under control. Being observant is another necessary trait of a good Correction Officer. Knowing what looks normal and what doesn’t. Looking for unusual behavior and illegal contraband can help keep the officer safe as well as the rest of the prison population. Inmates will manufacture weapons from anything they can get their hands on. If something is missing from somewhere, someone is using different body posture; it might be a sign of a pending attack on another inmate.
The Ability to Act Fairly and Impartially
Many times there will be inmates who seem friendlier to a Corrections Officer than others. The officer might become sympathetic to this inmate. This may cause the officer to look the other way if that inmate breaks a rule. Doing this will only cause anger amongst the rest of the inmates. This can lead to retaliation by those inmates, either against the officer or the inmate in question. A Correction Officer needs to be impartial and treat all inmates the same. Treating all the inmates impartially and fairly will create a bond of trust. One last important quality to have as a Correction Officer is to be able to communicate effectively. An officer will often have to write reports on an incident or even testify in court. Knowing how to accurately describe what occurred is essential.
Diverse Skills Are Important
It would seem like all Correction Officers should have similar traits to be considered good officers. However, in speaking with retired Col. Thomas Davoren of the Connecticut State Police, he described how having different qualities among the officers will ensure a better force. “Just like police officers, one corrections officer is not going to be like another. Each officer will have the same basic set of skills necessary to do the job, but some may have other skills that will be beneficial to the department. To make a well-rounded force, different strengths from different officers are necessary. There are always some people who can communicate better than others. Having an officer know how to talk a situation down instead of escalating it is as important as having officers who are physically stronger than others. One officer may have an excellent memory for criminal statutes while another has excellent investigative skills. No one officer can possess all these traits. It takes a blending of each type to make an effective force.“
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