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What Correctional Officer Training Can’t Prepare You For

Your CO training is never going to prepare you for what it's actually like when you do your first cell search, the first time an inmate stares you down, or the first time you have to bring someone to the floor. It's definitely not going to prepare you for your first body cavity search. Tre…
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Life as a CO in Chicago’s Infamous Cook County Jail

Some of the fellow corrections officers you meet in the academy or the first day on the job will be your lifelong friends. There's a strong bond among those who work in this profession. Without you there would be no place for those convicted of crimes; you're doing a public service and that comes with…
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The Benefits of a Criminal Justice Degree

Working as a correctional officer doesn’t always require that you have a degree in criminal justice. In fact, to get a basic entry-level job at a state correctional facility, you often don’t need to earn anything beyond a high school diploma or obtain your GED. Having an associate degree or even a bachelor’s degree in…
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Degrees for Occupational Advancement in the Corrections Field

While working for a state correctional facility does not require a college education, many upper level supervisor positions do require a degree of some type. Working for the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) requires a bachelor’s degree, and advancing your career in these positions may require a master’s degree or even a Ph.D. There are…
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Key Concepts & Skills Taught in Correctional Officer Training

If you are hired as a correctional officer, you will have to go through a training period before you can begin working in a facility. In local and state facilities, you’ll train at the nearest police academy. For those who are employed with the Federal Bureau of Prisons, you’ll spend time at the Staff Training…
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U.S. Tops List for Most-Populous Prison System in the World

Among all nations, the United States has topped the list of the most-dense prison populations. According to Geography.com, there are 196 countries in the world. The Federal Bureau of Prisons data consulted on January 1, 2015, indicated 210,781 inmates are incarcerated among federal-level prisons. Given that federal prisoners account for approximately 10percent of the nation's…
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Overcrowding and Fights

Former Cook County CO, Tre Hardiman Talks About How Overcrowding Leads to Violence Tre Hardiman, a correctional officer with the Cook County Sheriff's Department, worked at the Cook County Jail in Chicago for four years. The third-largest county jail in the nation, in 2014 Chicago's WGN-TV called it “one of the largest jail systems in…
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A Former Cook County CO Opens Up

It Takes a Tough Exterior and an Open Mind to Be a Correctional Officer Being a CO isn't easy. By necessity, you need to keep inmates at arm’s length and harden up your calluses. Not for the sake of being cold but for good reason– for your own survival. For one, you can end up…
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Correctional Officers and Aging, Ailing Inmates

Like everyone else, incarcerated individuals experience the same effect of human existence: aging. But, life and aging inside a penal institution can be far different than life on the outside. That is what a New York City-based criminal justice think-tank emphasized when it conducted a study on the effects of prison life and aging. THE…
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Overseeing inmates with autism

In and of itself, the general population of any prison setting presents challenges. Those same challenges imply room for change and growth. Like peace officers working the streets, the concept of prison officials engaging individuals with autism has its own brand of procedural issues. The dynamics of autism--and those disorders falling within this spectrum--presents circumstances…
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