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Correctional Officer Essay, Research Paper


The career I have chosen to pursue after graduation is a Correctional Officer.

Correctional Officer?s have been around for a very long time and were designed to keep major offenders off the street after they have been arrested by the Police. The offenders are put in a holding cell at a Pre Trial Centre awaiting their court date. Correctional Officers are a very important part of the Justice System because it keeps high profile criminals off the street and locked up even before they are proven innocent or guilty. The Correctional Facility in many ways is a lot like a jail, from what I saw when I toured the new Pre Trial Centre in Port Coquitlam. There are large thick metal doors to lock them in at night. Each cell contains a small bed, a desk and shelf, a sink and a toilet. The one thing I found interesting was at the new Pre Trial Facility in Port Coquitlam each cell had a window, which I thought was a little too much for criminals but I guess they are innocent until proven guilty. As this is a NEW facility and it has some nicer things than the older centres.

A typical day for a Correctional Officer would be the preparing of inmates for court appearances. They also receive new inmates to the facility brought in by the Sheriffs Department. Each new inmate must be photographed and fingerprinted upon immediate arrival to the Pre Trial Centre. They are then stripped and fully searched inside and out. With that out of the way they are then escorted into the showering area and are issued their new red jump suit. The new prisoner is then admitted into their ?pod?. Rather than keep ALL the inmates together in one large group, they are broken down into smaller groups. Each group lives in their own pod. Each pod had a central living space and outside fresh air lounge. The individual cells surround the living area and there are three additional floors that overlook the central living space that you reach by inside stairs. Each level contains approximately 10 individual cells. Some information was not available to us (the public) as it is confidential. Information such as how many Officers work in a pod per shift. The inmates are served their meals in the central living space and it the Correctional Officers job to count everything they take. Items such as jam containers, plastic knives and forks are made into weapons by the ingenious inmates. After they are given their meals and have had time to go to the gym, they are then put back into their cell for the night.

Working in a Correctional Facility is a very stressful environment. Everything is done by the book and not following the protocol could mean termination of your employment. A Corrections Officer is a Government job which means you get a great salary that could range from $35,000.00 – $70,000.00 a year. You get great benefits with health care and dental care. There are Correctional Facilities all over Canada, which means this job could allow you to move all over the country. Also, if you work in the Northern most regions, you receive isolation pay.

The closest teaching institution in BC is the Justice Institute in New Westminster. People come from all over BC to attend this school and to be trained as a Police Officer, a Corrections Officer and the list of Officers goes on. There is almost and endless amount of jobs that you can be trained for at the Justice Institute. I found it very interesting that all riot and all Police emergency dispatch teams are all trained through the Justice Institute.

The are a few requirements to attend this school.

These requirements are:

You must have your Grade 12 diploma.

You must have a valid class 5 drivers licence

You must be 19 years of age.

The tuition to attend the Justice Institute is $2,000.00. The Institute accepts the people with the highest level of education first and they work their way down. If you are accepted to the Justice Institute this does not guarantee you a position at a Pre Trial Facility. After completion of the course you must then go before a panel of approximately 5 interviewers from the different facilities around the Province. They ask you hypothetical questions such as ?What would you do if an inmate came after you in a violent way?, is a common question. These types of question test if you can handle stress, if you have a temper and if you have common sense to handle the job. This panelling process is a good way to get rid of the people not suitable for the job.

This career still interest me because of the mental strength needed to get the job. I love to be mentally tested in this way. All these criminals like to play mind games with you all day every day. I think this job really calls out to me since I am so mentally strong. I also have a cousin that used to be a Corrections Officer and is going to work with me to attain my goal.

I need to approach my goal using strategically planned steps. My first step is to complete High School and get my Grade 12 diploma. After I have completed that I will return to my boxing academy and get myself back into great shape. This is a big plus when you are being panelled. I will also begin working with my cousin

who will help me prepare for the physical entrance test and for the panelling interview. With all of these things in order I will not be denied my goal.

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