A lot of Missouri residents, just like you, are interested in pursuing careers as corrections officers. Unfortunately, many of these people don’t have a clear idea of what exactly it is that corrections officers in the state do.
All too often, they will complete the training for these jobs and even get hired, only to find out they are not cut out for the work, which can be quite difficult.
To keep this from happening to you and to avoid wasting time, money, effort, and energy, it’s important that you know what to expect and what it is that these important civil servants do.
First of all, it is important to note that not all corrections officers will have the exact same duties and responsibilities at their job. The work you will be given will depend on quite a few different factors, such as what your academic background, if any, is, the facility where you work, the inmates under your charge, your experience level, and much more.
Generally speaking, however, the job of a corrections officer is to be responsible for the inmates and for their life inside of the legal system.
Typically, corrections officers in the state complete “rounds,” in which they frequently check on the status of inmates, the happenings in their cells and in recreation or work areas, and the conditions in these same areas. They may also be responsible, in some cases, for escorting inmates to activities and even sometimes for planning these activities.
Some corrections officers even stand watch in tall towers when the inmates are in the yard or working community service in order to ensure they do not escape, or cause problems or harm to other inmates or other corrections officers and professionals. The work is serious and sometimes dangerous.
Corrections officers can work in a wide array of different schedules. Keep in mind that prisons and jails cannot close. Someone has to be at work at all times, even on weekends and holidays, so this can lead to some odd working hours. Most commonly, corrections officers work in eight hour shifts, sometimes working multiple shifts back to back.
These shifts are most commonly broken up in a 7 to 3, 3 to 11, and 11 to 7 type of schedule. Again, your experience may vary depending upon where you work and your exact job responsibilities.
Keep in mind that another part of a correction officer’s job is to continue his or her education throughout the career. Correction officers often have to attend special seminars, meetings, classes, and training even when they are not scheduled to do their traditional work.
These are usually required, though some may be voluntary, and they can be paid or unpaid, depending upon where you work. Looking at them as opportunities, instead of as harsh mandates, will help you to get the most out of such sessions and to use them to further your career, as well as to further your professional knowledge.
As you can likely tell, the life of a corrections officer is not an easy one. He or she has to submit to extensive physical and psychological testing, as well as to random drug testing throughout the career. These professionals often work hard and put themselves in dangerous situations in order to protect others.
However, the job is very personally rewarding to many people, and it also tends to pay better than the average profession in the state. So, being a corrections officer is not without its joys, but you have to be the right kind of person.