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What is Corrections Officer Training?

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  • Written By: Jacob Queen
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 14 October 2019
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Corrections officer training varies quite a bit in different areas, and for some facilities, the requirements are rather steep, while other areas are much more lenient about what sort of training they expect. The main aspects of corrections officer training are procedural, legal, and tactical. Officers need to learn the procedures for handling prisoners in their local area and the legal requirements regarding the rights of prisoners, and they need to have a solid understanding of weapons handling and hand-to-hand combat ability so they can defend themselves from the dangers that might appear during the job. Sometimes college training is required, and sometimes it's not, but there is nearly always a requirement for a full high school education. Those who do require college training are usually more receptive to those with a criminal justice bachelor's degree, and sometimes previous experience in police work or a background in the military can be beneficial in gaining a job.

Generally speaking, corrections officers and the facilities they work for always have to maintain a balance between keeping the public safe and not violating the rights of prisoners. For these reasons, corrections officer training often features a focus on all the legal aspects of the job, showing the officer the limits he has to operate within. This helps officers avoid legal trouble and helps maintain a safe and legal atmosphere in corrections facilities.

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Sometimes most corrections officer training is handled in-house, but in some cases, most of the training might actually occur at an external academy. In either situation, there is nearly always some amount of in-house training so that the officer can learn the particular rules and quirks of his job. These might involve things like learning unique aspects of the prison population and the safety rules used in a facility that are different from the norm. The amount of training can vary a lot, and some areas have much more stringent requirements.

Since there is often a lot of danger in the job, correctional officer training is usually very tactical in nature. The officers generally need to be competent with various weapons and ways of dealing with dangerous situations. They may learn to use certain safety equipment that's similar to what riot police have to use, and they also generally learn to use many non-deadly force weapons, like TasersĀ® and pepper spray. The extensiveness of this training might vary according to the kind of facility and the particular job of the officer.

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