When someone makes a mistake, he has to pay the price. Justice should be served and that person has to give time in a corrections facility to allow himself to make amends of the errors of his life. This way, the erred person will be taught to do not do more harm to others. And someone has to be there to see to it that he follows the procedure. That someone has to do the job of being there for these people that are imprisoned. He is called the New Jersey Corrections Officer.
What is a NJ Corrections Officer?
A New Jersey Corrections Officer is an officer responsible in ensuring that the inmates of a correctional facility are in proper custody, safe and cared for.
Duties of a NJ Corrections Officer
- It is the duty of the NJ Corrections Officer to ensure that public safety is upheld at all times through correct custody and management of the imprisoned individuals under the Criminal Justice system. He guards the inmates inside and outside of the New Jersey corrections facility. It is one of his duties to escort inmates from their prison cells to the dining area, work area, classrooms, hospital and chapel. He is in charge of overseeing the inmates in recreational activities on the lookout for possible disturbances.
- The NJ Corrections Offices is tasked to guarantee the welfare and safety of the corrections facility staff and the inmates as well. It is his responsibility to check and search inmates for forbidden items.
- Another task at hand of the NJ Corrections Officer is to patrol buildings and correction facility area making sure that all locks are in place and bars, windows and gates are not utilized for a probable escape.
- The NJ Corrections Officer may also be assigned to escort prisoners outside of the prison to go to court for hearings and trails or for jobs in the community. He also tasked to bring back in escaped prisoners, the ones who violated their parole and watch over arrested people waiting to stand for trial.
- The NJ Corrections Officer also participates in the rehabilitative programs that are provided to the inmates who are going back to the community. He is the one who informs prisoners on the prison rules and is the one to listen to their needs and complains.
Work Condition of a NJ Corrections Officer
A Corrections Officer in New Jersey or in any state for that matter works in a state correctional facility for eight hours a day and on a rotating shifts that may include working on holidays and weekends. He can be called in emergency situations. A uniform is required to be worn by all the corrections officer and he may be inspected before and after working hours especially in large facilities.
This job entails a lot of pressure and demands that the NJ Corrections Officer be alert at all times. It is more stressful even in emergency situations that may place the officers in personal danger. Quick thinking and acting according to the regulations is essential in protecting himself, the inmates and the other officers. Being physically fit is also vital in being a corrections officer to be able to withstand the demands of a corrections facility.
Educational Requirements of a NJ Corrections Officer
In New Jersey, to become a Corrections Officer, the minimum age is 18 years old. The minimum educational requirement to land this position is a high school diploma or its equivalent. It is also important that the interested individual must be able to read and write the English language. A driver’s license and firearms license are also required.
Although the educational requirement may be deemed as minimal, a set of tests are given to determine the eligibility of the person to become a New Jersey Correction Officer. These tests may include background check using fingerprints, history of domestic violence, medical and written psychological examination and drug screening through urinalysis. Field checking is also conducted wherein personal interviews are made and visits to the home and current work addresses.
Occupation and Progress of a NJ Corrections Officer
The outlook for this position is good as the number of prisoners is increasing and the facilities are expected to make expansions. For a corrections officer to progress in this position, experience and added education is the key. Gaining a college degree in criminal courses can be more advantageous as more career opportunities for higher position are opened. The position of senior correction officer in New Jersey Department of Corrections has various opportunities to be assigned in a special unit such as the K-9 unit, Special Operations or Ceremonial Teams among others.