Office of Inspector General (DOJ-OIG)

Federal Agents serving in the OIG investigate fraud, waste, abuse, and the mismanagement of government programs and operations within their parent organizations. These investigations can be conducted on both the civil and military sides of the government. They may be internal, targeting government employees, or external, targeting contractors or recipients of government loans and subsidies offered through the many federal, domestic, and foreign assistance programs.

Other areas for federal agents’ service include the US Secret Service (USSS), the Office of Investigations (OI), the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and the Office of Detention and Removal Operations (DRO). Each one of these specialized services deals with issues of criminal justice on a daily basis.
6.4 Correctional Officer

Maintaining the rule of law and order within the prison facilities system is the primary responsibility of a correctional officer. This role of surveillance by the officer extends to individuals who have been arrested and are awaiting their trial in prison and to the individuals who have been convicted and are now sentenced to serve time in prison. These officers maintain prison security, account for an inmate’s continual whereabouts, and prevent inmate disturbances and prison escapes.

A correctional officer typically goes through a basic regimen of education at a community- or state-operated correctional academy where, upon completion, they are assigned a prison facility to begin on-the-job training. This level of hands-on guidance will also vary depending upon whether the facility is private, state, or federally managed. The basic training requirements for a correctional officer are established based on the guidelines set forth by the “American Correctional Association and the American Jail Association.”A correctional officer’s academy training includes instruction on the prison’s policy, the prison’s regulations and operations, and the procedures that are to be followed for the specialized handling when dealing with the custody and security of inmates.

At the basic level, the qualifications to become a correctional officer include a minimum of a high school diploma or equivalent with the exception that a few state correctional agencies may require some form of a college education or a previous prison-related full-time work experience. Prior military service is often seen as a benefit for qualification and, in some cases, may even be substituted for a college education. On the federal level, however, correctional officer requirements are more stringent. The Federal Bureau of Prisons requires an entry-level correctional officer to have a minimum of a college bachelor’s degree and three years of full-time work experience in counseling or a related subject. The qualifications for a new federal correctional officer also include a requirement for 200 hours of formal training within the first year of employment, in addition to another 120 hours of specialized hands-on development at the US Federal Bureau of Prisons training center located in Glynco, Georgia.

Other basic correctional officer qualifications include being a minimum of 18 to 21 years of age, being a United States citizen or permanent resident, having no prior felony convictions, meeting the standards of a medical examination, and passing a written examination.

A formal training in firearm instruction, firearm handling, and self-defense are also a primary requirement for new entry-level correctional officers. The specialized on-the-job training for new officers can last from several weeks to several months under the guidance of experienced correctional officials as they go about the daily task of prison security. The correctional officer’s specialized training includes counter offense measures for prison riots and prison hostage standoff scenarios. In addition, a correctional officer continues an ongoing education with the latest in prison policy standards along with law enforcement technology advances.

A person with good character, sound judgment, and the ability to think quickly in an emergency are considered the hallmarks of a good correctional officer. Because the qualifications and training can also be diverse, a Criminal Justice degree that provides an education in the areas of law enforcement, psychology, and sociology of human behavior can make for a great starting point for a career as a correctional officer. | © Copyright 2019 | All Rights Reserved