The state of Kentucky has county, state, and federal jails and prisons that all fall under state jurisdiction. Currently, there are 12 penitentiaries and complexes located throughout the state whose mandate is to protect the citizens and communities of the state by providing secure environments for inmates and officers. Arranging state facilities in this manner allows services to be clustered for best management of the offenders who may need services directed toward juvenile offenders, women, health needs, or community transition. Some, like Bell Country Forestry Camp house offenders who can work on outside release. Others, like the Kentucky Correctional Institution for Women have gender segregated cells and dormitories. Kentucky currently has 3,247 correctional officers working with over 20,000 incarcerated offenders. In the next decade, state predictions show that the number of correctional officers is going to grow by 5% or to 3409 roles. This growth, coupled with retirement and career moves, means that the Kentucky Department of Corrections is actively recruiting new hires. For more information about the field of corrections in Kentucky, keep reading.
Top Schools Supporting Careers in Criminal Justice & Corrections
The following rankings are based on student data, published surveys, and other school and career data collected from several sources which include the following government agencies:
- National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)
- The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS)
By obtaining our base data set from the above data sources, schools were ranked using the criteria below:
- Schools with less than 10 total graduates per year were omitted in order to maintain statistical integrity
- Schools must have at least 1 graduate in the field of criminal justice
- Only 4-year, 2-year, and technical public and private non-profit schools were included
Schools were sorted in order of the highest percentage of total students graduating with a degree in the field of criminal justice (CIPCODES: 43.0102, 43.0110, 43.0113, 43.0103, 43.0104, 43.0107, 43.0109, 43.0111, 43.0112, 43.0199).
Kentucky Wesleyan College
Kentucky Wesleyan College ranks 1st in our latest rankings with sixteen students completing programs in criminal justice out of a total 294 graduates in the 2012-2013 school year.
Eastern Kentucky University
Located in Richmond, Kentucky and founded in 1906, Eastern Kentucky University is a teaching and research university with over 15,000 students enrolled annually. The university has three campuses to better serve its student body. Students interested in the field of corrections are advised to contact EKU's Corrections & Juvenile Justice Studies faculty in order to learn more about this unique program, as well as required prerequisites and employment statistics.
Saint Catharine College
Saint Catharine College ranks 3rd in our latest rankings with eleven students graduating from programs in law enforcement administration out of a total 306 graduates from the 2012-2013 school year.
University of Pikeville
University of Pikeville ranks 4th in our rankings with 18 students graduating from programs in criminal justice out of a total 546 graduates.
Lindsey Wilson College
Lindsey Wilson College ranks fifth in our rankings with thirty-eight students graduating from programs in criminal justice out of a total 1,292 graduates from the 2012-2013 school year.
University of Louisville
University of Louisville ranks sixth in our rankings with 267 students completing programs in law enforcement administration out of a total 9,754 graduates in the 2012-2013 school year.
Gateway Community and Technical College
Gateway Community and Technical College ranks 7th in our rankings with 72 students graduating from programs in law enforcement administration out of a total two thousand students in the 2012-2013 school year.
Hopkinsville Community College
Hopkinsville Community College ranks 8th in our latest rankings with 67 students graduating from programs in law enforcement administration out of a total two thousand graduates from the 2012-2013 school year.
Kentucky State University
Kentucky State University ranks 9th in our rankings with sixteen students completing programs in criminal justice out of a total 608 students.
Campbellsville University ranks 10th in our rankings with twenty-eight students completing programs in criminal justice and law enforcement administration out of a total 1,288 students in the 2012-2013 school year.
Continued List of All Criminal Jusitice Programs in Kentucky
Northern Kentucky University
Nunn Drive, Highland Heights, KY 41099
Phone: (859) 572-5100
310 College St, Barbourville, KY 40906-1499
Phone: (606) 546-4151
Somerset Community College
808 Monticello Street, Somerset, KY 42501-2973
Phone: (877) 629-9722
Ashland Community and Technical College
1400 College Drive, Ashland, KY 41101-3683
Phone: (606) 326-2000
Big Sandy Community and Technical College
One Bert Combs Dr, Prestonsburg, KY 41653
Phone: (606) 886-3863 x0
Elizabethtown Community and Technical College
600 College Street Rd, Elizabethtown, KY 42701-3081
Phone: (270) 769-2371
University of the Cumberlands
6191 College Station Drive, Williamsburg, KY 40769
Phone: (606) 549-2200
Jefferson Community and Technical College
109 E Broadway, Louisville, KY 40202-2005
Phone: (502) 213-4000
Madisonville Community College
2000 College Drive, Madisonville, KY 42431
Phone: (270) 821-2250
Murray State University
218 Wells Hall, Murray, KY 42071-3318
Phone: (270) 809-3011
Thomas More College
333 Thomas More Parkway, Crestview Hills, KY 41017-3495
Phone: (859) 341-5800
Owensboro Community and Technical College
4800 New Hartford Rd, Owensboro, KY 42303
Phone: (270) 686-4400
West Kentucky Community and Technical College
4810 Alben Barkley Drive, Paducah, KY 42002-7380
Phone: (270) 554-9200 x0
2001 Newburg Rd, Louisville, KY 40205-0671
Phone: (502) 272-8263
Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College
700 College Rd, Cumberland, KY 40823
Phone: (606) 589-2145
Bluegrass Community and Technical College
470 Cooper Drive, Lexington, KY 40506
Phone: (859) 246-6200
Hazard Community and Technical College
One Community College Drive, Hazard, KY 41701-2402
Phone: (606) 487-3503
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Kentucky Correctional Officer Certification Requirements
The State Department of Corrections in Kentucky continually seeks professional and motivated men and women to fill their front-line roles for correctional officer. The role of correctional officer is a challenging and therefore applicants must meet the all the eligibility and aptitude requirements that the state sets forth in order to be considered qualified for hire. There are a number of requirements for this job as outlined on the state DOC webpage which include:
- Proof of age and U.S. citizenship
- High School Graduate or GED Certificate
- Valid Driver's License for the state of Kentucky
- No Felony or domestic violence convictions
- If applicable, military discharge "Under Honorable Conditions"
Applicants who have submitted the following proof become eligible to complete the following tests:
- Written examination
- Fingerprinting and extensive background check
- Drug screening
- Medical examination
- Mental health assessment
- Physical Ability Test based on gender and age
Having met all the above qualifications, along with successful interviews proving the candidate to be of good moral character, applicants will have a probationary hiring period as a trainee. Trainee corrections officers will continue their specialized training at a state facility. Upon successful completion of the final training portion, he or she will be awarded the status of correctional officer and be assigned a duty location.
Kentucky Department of Corrections
275 East Main Street, P.O. Box 2400
Frankfort, KY 40602-2400
Phone: (502) 564-4726
Kentucky Correctional Officer Employment & Outlook
Correctional Officer Salary: Kentucky vs National Salary Comparison
Source: BLS State Cross-Industry Estimates 2011
One of the ways that the state of Kentucky serves and supports correctional officers is through strong growth and salary opportunities throughout the state. As such, the median income for front-line correctional officers throughout the state is currently lower at $27,800 than the national median income at $39,800. However, and according to the occupational profile for the state of Kentucky found at http://www.careerinfonet.org/occ_rep.asp?next=occ_rep&Level=&optstatus=011000000&jobfam=33&id=1&nodeid=2&soccode=333012&menuMode=&stfips=21&x=48&y=13 and published by CareerInfoNet.org, state and national trends predict a 25% and 5% increase in correctional officer jobs by 2022 respectively, indicating that state growth is very rapid. For residents of Kentucky this rate translates into 380 job openings per year.
Occupational Employment Statistics for Correctional Officers (http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes333012.htm)
Kentucky Correctional Officer Salaries By Area
The table below lists career information obtained from the BLS for correctional officers in Kentucky. The table is sorted by total employment, with the largest metropolitan areas listed first.
|Area||Total Employment||Average Hourly Wage||Average Annual Salary|
|Louisville, Jefferson County||1,820||$15.03||$31,270|