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How hard is being a Corrections Officer?

by tom44 on July 7, 2013

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Question by RageAndLove: How hard is being a Corrections Officer?
Okay, well, I start college in the fall to go to college and work towards studying Corrections. Then I’m moving to Philadelphia to be a Corrections Officer up there.
How hard are the classes?
Also, if you work as one, can you give me an idea of what I’ll experience? Thanks. 🙂

Best answer:

Answer by Speed Ping
No if you know what you are doing. If you study hard and try your best, yes they are easy. Also there are a lot of crazy people.

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4 thoughts on “How hard is being a Corrections Officer?

  1. aa says:


    So, You want to be a C. O.

  2. ahsoasho2u2 says:

    Classes are like any class detailed but not really as difficult as Applied Quantitative Analysis classes.
    The Field of Corrections is changing daily as the old system of lock em up and throw the key away is not working.
    Warehousing is not good and is costly. Ventures into Community programs, rehabilitation, jobs, re entry are all a part of Corrections now.
    Working inside and institution can be a challenge if you like challenges.
    Your job is to monitor the activities of some 1500 inmates, through out the day, at the institution.
    You will know them by their real names, street names as well any AKAs they have, what they are incarcerated for, what gang activity, or what scamming they are into.(Board games, par la boards, pruno, sales of drugs, store items, box thefts, rapes, intimidation’s, collections for unpaid debts, assaults, etc)

  3. Billy Bob says:

    It’s easy..

  4. Bill G says:

    aa, that video you linked to is funny.

    Of course, as you said, it is dead-on.

    Personally, I have never heard of a wing in a prison being called a gallery, but with that exception that video pretty much covers the big picture.

    I have worked at three different correctional facilities in my lifetime, and was a sergeant at the last one.

    You think it’s bad being a CO? Try being a sergeant.

    Then EVERYTHING is your problem.

    When officers act like fools, guess who’s problem it is.

    When inmates act like fools, guess who’s problem it is.

    When the captain or the warden just chewed out the lieutenant for anything at all, guess who’s problem it is.

    Correctional work is completely thankless.

    You put your life on the line every day, and the public will never have a clue as to what you go through.

    The public lives in this fantasy land where inmates are locked up 24/7.

    They have no clue that you turn them out every day by the hundreds for chow, school, craft shop, commissary, medical appointments, visitation, and the list goes on.

    They have no clue that with as many as 500 inmates in the chow hall, you may have 3 or four officers in there with them.

    They have no clue that when you are working a wing, an incompetent officer sometimes opens up all of the cell doors on the first or second level, when you are upstairs on the third or fourth level, and you have no clue the doors were just all opened until you see the inmates streaming out from your wing into the rotunda to go for chow. (Yes this has happened to me.)

    There is one thing about that video I disagree with.

    Inmates do not ALMOST have more rights than officers, they DO have more rights.

    The state is scared to death of being sued by an inmate with help of various groups like the ACLU for anything and everything, no matter how trivial it may be.

    If you use too much force on an inmate who is violent and may very likely kill you if he gets the chance, you are in trouble.

    You have to justify your every move. If you even talk in a manner that is too offensive to an inmate you could wind up in the lieutenant’s office being written up.

    Yet, as the video mentions, there are always the favorites on any shift, who basically get away with all of the easy assignments like central control, and almost never have to deal with inmates.

    It is a thankless, dangerous, low paid job, where you can maybe trust half of your coworkers with your life, even though your life may be in danger within one second or less if something goes wrong.

    Saying you can trust half of your coworkers is an optimistic appraisal.

    There is definitely a sense of pride in doing this kind of work, because you know that most people couldn’t handle it for more than a week if that long.

    There is no other job like it.

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