If you live in the state of Mississippi and have a sincere interest in becoming a corrections officer, then you’ll be glad to know that there are lots of wonderful educational opportunities in the state that can get you to where you wish to be professionally.
Of course, it is up to you to not only find the program that is right for you but to use the opportunity to your advantage. Becoming a corrections officer will take hard work, but it will be well worth it in the end when you can do what you’ve always wanted to do and earn a great salary while doing it!
First of all, it’s important to note that not everyone who currently works in corrections or who is planning to has a degree in just plain old corrections. People come to the field from a wide variety of academic and professional backgrounds. A few don’t even have a formal education in the field, though this is becoming more and more uncommon.
You can major in any related area that interests you, such as psychology, criminal justice, criminology, social work, police science, and more, so long as the schooling adequately prepares you to work in corrections.
Your classes should include coursework on the psychology of crime and the criminals who commit it, how to deal with these criminals fairly and ethically, the basic tenants of the law and legal system, what your role as a corrections officer is, and more.
If you do not feel adequately prepared when you complete your education, you can supplement it with certificate or training programs to help out in areas where you feel less strong. Just be aware that certificate and training programs are not the same as, nor are they a substitute for, a degree program.
Of course, coursework and a degree isn’t all that it takes to be a successful corrections officer in the state. On a personal level, you must be someone who is fully committed to his or her job and who is not afraid of real hard work. You must be assertive and capable at dealing with inmates, a good communication, respectful, kind but stern, and understanding but authoritative.
You should also understand that the work is often not easy, but for the right person, it is enjoyable and well worth the effort.
In addition to these qualities, you also have to meet some basic and practical qualifications. You should be at least eighteen years of age or, as is the case with some jobs, at least twenty-one years of age. Theoretically, you can work in the field with only a high school diploma, which you should have, but a higher level degree is very much recommended.
You also have to be drug free and willing to submit to random testing throughout your career. You will also be tested extensively for good psychological and physical health. Also, you should not have any felony convictions on your record. This is the “official” stance but even those with misdemeanor charges will often have a very hard time getting hired.
If, after reading all of this information, you still feel that a career in corrections is right for you and you are willing to complete the work it takes to do the job, then you likely have a very good chance of finding real success in the field.
It falls on you to do the hard work, to take the classes, and to prepare yourself mentally and physically, but those who can do that will be rewarded.