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Prison Guard


Description

There are many types of criminals, from multiple murderers to arsonists to people who cheat on their taxes. Regardless of the severity of the crime, however, anyone in prison is entitled to the protectionist services offered by prison guards, also known as correctional service officers.

These guards work in prisons and other correctional facilities, monitoring people who've been convicted of a criminal offense. They maintain order throughout the prison, and are on duty day and night, holidays and weekends. They watch inmates at work and at play, keep an eye on them during meal times and escort them to trials or on temporary leaves. They also patrol areas, checking doors, windows, and locks. They also do occasional checks of inmates' cells. They keep detailed reports about everything that goes on in the prison, in case they need to defend themselves, a fellow guard, or an inmate in court.

The drawback to this position is the possibility of riot, fire, fights, or escape attempts. Prison guards must therefore always be cautious, and prepared for any emergency. They should be ready to intervene in a dangerous situation--they should be calm, strong individuals who can command respect and obedience from all types on inmates, from mild-mannered first offenders to those trapped by a life of crime.

The positive side can often outweigh the negative, however. Many prison guards get to know inmates, and can assist them in learning new, appropriate behaviors through role modelling. They can make recommendations about offenders to the parole board and have a direct impact on the release of improved inmates, or the continued seclusion of those they consider dangerous. They also work with young offenders, and do what they can to ensure those troubled youths don't grow up to become adult offenders.
 
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Post University Online
Experience an education that helps you realize your potential in a way that fits you best. Request more information about Post University today.
Programs Offered:
  • B.S. in Human Services / Criminal Justice
  • B.S. in Criminal Justice
  • A.S. in Criminal Justice

 

 



  Average Earnings  
Lowest 10% of Earners:
$22,010
 
Median Salary:
$32,670
 
Highest 10% of Earners:
$52,370

  Interests and Skills  
Prison guards are mature, reliable people. They have a clean record, are patient, as well as motivated. They have excellent communication skills, and listen and write as well as they talk. They enjoy rising to a challenge, and are physically fit with a lot of stamina. They are leaders, who are non-judgmental and are open to many types of people from many backgrounds. They work well in a team, have good levels of concentration, and are confident in themselves and their abilities.
 

  Typical Tasks  
  • Monitor prisoners in a variety of locations (recreation facilities, dining halls, cell blocks)
  • Observe the conduct and behavior of inmates to prevent disturbances and escapes
  • Prepare discipline reports and case reports
  • Conduct searches of inmates, cells, vehicles and buildings
  • Accompany inmates to courtrooms, hospitals, and work sites
  • Advise National Parole Board on different offenders' behavior
  • The typical day for a prison guard involves a lot of watching, listening, and waiting for an action that requires a reaction from them. They may have to subdue an inmate or transport them from cell to cell, to a courthouse, or to locations within the prison. They write reports about daily actions of inmates and officers. They don't get to travel, unless accompanying a prisoner to trial.

  Workplaces, Employers and Industries  
  • Prison guards work in tough situations. The prisons and correctional institutions where they work can be dangerous. Violent behavior, drug abuse and alcohol consumption can elicit the worst behavior form the inmates, who may be verbally and physically abusive. However, dangerous situations are rare, and most of the time they work in dining halls, outdoor recreation centers, and monitoring cell blocks.
  • They are employed by either the federal or state correctional services. They work in shifts, often at night or on weekends and holidays. They work in a team of other officers and supervisors.

  Long Term Career Potential  
Prison guards can go on to become supervisor, customs officers, police and RCMP officers, and security guards in the private sector. They can become lawyers, human rights activists, and counsellors, social workers, or write about their experiences in books or magazines.
 

  Educational Paths  
In order to work as a prison guard, you need a high school diploma, and some experience working with people in crisis. It would also be a good idea if you got a diploma in correctional services, law and security, or a degree in law, criminology, psychology, or sociology.

You will also need to pass a medical examination, a physical assessment test, have a valid CPR and first aid certificate, and a valid driver's license. Training will be offered to successful applicants.
 

Sources:
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, 2002, http://www.bls.gov/oes/2002/oes_nat.htm

Featured Schools

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Post University Online  Online
Experience an education that helps you realize your potential in a way that fits you best. Request more information about Post University today.
Programs Offered:
  • B.S. in Human Services / Criminal Justice
  • B.S. in Criminal Justice
  • A.S. in Criminal Justice
Campus Locations:
  • Waterbury, CT

 
Argosy University  Online
Argosy University offers doctoral, master's, and bachelor's degree programs to students through its eight colleges.
Programs Offered:
  • Criminal Justice (BS) (Online)
Campus Locations:
  • Phoenix, AZ

 
Ashford University  Online
You've found Ashford University, where school comes to you. Earn your bachelor's or master's degree online.
Programs Offered:
  • MS Criminal Justice
  • BA/Social and Criminal Justice
  • MS/Criminal Justice - Law Enforcement and Corrections Administration
  • more programs...
Campus Locations:
  • , CA

 
ITT Technical Institute  Online
Are you interested in pursuing a high-tech career? Getting an education from ITT Tech is a great place to start!
Programs Offered:
  • AS - Criminology and Forensic Technology
Campus Locations:
  • , IN

 
San Joaquin Valley College  Online
San Joaquin Valley College is an accredited private junior college committed to the professional success of its students and graduates.
Founded in 1977, SJVC has campuses located throughout California-including an Online division and offers a variety of accelerated Certificate and Associate of Science degree programs in the business, medical and technical fields.

Students benefit from a balance of classroom instruction and real-world experience, learning the skills they need to go straight to work in today’s competitive job market.
Programs Offered:
  • Degree - Criminal Justice: Corrections
Campus Locations:
  • Bakersfield, CA

 
Institute of Technology  Online

You can get started on a new career with Institute of Technology.

For more information about our graduation rates, the median debt of students who completed the program, and other important information, please visit our website at www.iot.edu/disclosure

Programs Offered:
  • Criminology and Emergency Response Management
Campus Locations:
  • Modesto, CA

 
Brightwood College  Online

About Brightwood College

Brightwood College offers accelerated programs that combine flexible schedules and professional instruction to create a rewarding learning experience for individuals focused on gaining the skills for specific careers. Brightwood College is owned and operated by Education Corporation of America.

Programs Offered:
  • Criminal Justice
Campus Locations:
  • Bakersfield, CA

 
Platt College  Online
Turn your talents into a career at nationally recognized and accredited Platt College.
Programs Offered:
  • Criminal Justice
Campus Locations:
  • Alhambra, CA

 
Keiser University  Online

For over 35 years, Keiser University has provided student-centered, quality career education. Keiser University Online offers degree programs online to prepare students for in-demand professions.

Programs Offered:
  • Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice
Campus Locations:
  • , FL

 
South University, Online Programs  Online

Designed with the needs of working adult students in mind, South University, Online Programs is built on the similar curriculum offered at South University's campus locations. As a student at South University, Online Programs you will receive the same quality instruction, variety of learning options and level of service found at the campus locations.

Programs Offered:
  • Criminal Justice (BS)
  • Criminal Justice (MS)
Campus Locations:
  • Savannah, GA

 
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