If you’re a Kentucky resident who is considering becoming a corrections officer or perhaps has even already completed the training to become a corrections officer, you likely have quite a few questions.

Undoubtedly, however, one of those questions is probably about what you can expect your work schedule and your daily life to be like once you actually start working in the field. Unfortunately, there is no simple answer to that question.

Kentucky corrections officers can work in a wide variety of different ways, in several different environments, and at different times, and they can often have very different responsibilities!

Generally speaking, however, most corrections officers will work five days each week, though this is not often as simple as Monday through Friday.

Remember that correctional facilities never close, and they have to be manned every day and at every time, so someone always must be working in corrections at any given time; this includes holidays, like Christmas, and weekends too.

Corrections officers tend to do their work in eight hour shifts, though they may sometimes work overtime or choose to take on back to back shifts from time to time. These shifts typically occur from 11 to 7, from 7 to 3, and from 3 to 11 in the state of Kentucky.

No matter which shift you end up working, you will likely have quite a few responsibilities each shift. You will check cells for problems or unsanitary conditions, inspect security measures to make sure they are strongly in place and have not been violated, check and distribute mail to inmates (some shifts only), check and allow or deny entry by inmate visitors (certain shifts only), and help inmates get from one activity or responsibility to another easily and safely.

You might even be involved in counseling or working directly with the inmates as well, depending upon your exact position.

Obviously, no matter how your exact schedule ends up looking once you have been hired in the field, the work is going to be difficult. It can, however, also be extremely rewarding for the right person. The key is to make sure that you are that “right person” long before you ever start exploring, training, or certainly working in the field.

To be an effective corrections officer you must be assertive and strong minded, but you must also be kind, compassionate, patient, and fair. Remember, inmates are people too. You, of course, have to be in good physical and mental health, and you have to be capable of leaving the difficulties of work at work, or else you will find that you get burnt out very quickly.

Most importantly, you can’t be in the corrections field for only the wrong reasons, such as wanting the prestige or the salary that go along with corrections but not caring about the work. You have to love what you do, enjoy helping people and making a difference, and be fully committed to doing your job.