Becoming a Correctional Officer in Mississippi

The Mississippi State Department of Corrections is recruiting both male and female correctional officers. Applicants who possess strong values and integrity, and who enjoy a challenging job with people are welcome to apply through the DOC to complete the provided new hire training and start their career in any of Mississippi's state or private prisons, or in the county jail system. At this time, there are 2,895 officers working directly with approximately 20,742 sentenced offenders in state-run facilities such as Mississippi State Penitentiary, and the South Mississippi Correctional Institution as well as in private facilities such as Marshall County Correctional Facility, Tallahatchie County Correctional Facility, and Walnut Grove Correctional Facility. Due to the changing nature of the corrections industry where emphasis is increasingly placed on inmate need and reducing re-offending behaviours, the industry is poised to grow by a steady 5% upward trend until 2022. In addition to the creation of approximately 145 new roles over this time, recruitment will be ongoing to replace officers who change careers, are promoted, or who retire. Read more about these challenging job opportunities below.

Schools Analyzed
Schools Ranked

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:

Data Sources

  • 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).


Mississippi Valley State University

14000 Highway 82 West, Itta Bena, MS 38941-1400

Mississippi Valley State University ranks first in our latest rankings with forty-three students completing programs in criminal justice and law enforcement administration out of a total 910 students from the 2012-2013 school year.

Ranking Details

  • Percent of Graduates: 4.73%
  • Program Graduates: 43
  • Total Graduates: 910
  • Programs:
    • Law Enforcement Administration
    • Criminal Justice

School Details

  • School Type: Public, 4-year
  • Website:
  • School Size: 1,000 - 5,000

Coahoma Community College

3240 Friars Point Rd, Clarksdale, MS 38614

Coahoma Community College ranks 2nd in our latest rankings with twenty students completing programs in criminal justice out of a total 690 graduates.

Ranking Details

  • Percent of Graduates: 2.90%
  • Program Graduates: 20
  • Total Graduates: 690

School Details

  • School Type: Public, 2-year
  • Website:
  • School Size: 1,000 - 5,000

Jackson State University

1440 J R Lynch Street, Jackson, MS 39217

Jackson State University ranks 3rd in our rankings with 70 students completing programs in criminal justice out of a total two thousand graduates from the 2012-2013 school year.

Ranking Details

  • Percent of Graduates: 2.36%
  • Program Graduates: 70
  • Total Graduates: 2,970

School Details

  • School Type: Public, 4-year
  • Website:
  • School Size: 5,000 - 10,000

University of Mississippi

Oxford, Mississippi, University, MS 38677-1848

University of Mississippi ranks 4th in our latest rankings with 148 students graduating from programs in law enforcement administration out of a total seven thousand graduates in the 2012-2013 school year.

Ranking Details

  • Percent of Graduates: 1.90%
  • Program Graduates: 148
  • Total Graduates: 7,772

School Details


Itawamba Community College

602 W Hill Street, Fulton, MS 38843-1099

Itawamba Community College ranks fifth in our latest rankings with forty-six students completing programs in corrections and law enforcement administration out of a total two thousand graduates.

Ranking Details

  • Percent of Graduates: 1.81%
  • Program Graduates: 46
  • Total Graduates: 2,542
  • Programs:
    • Law Enforcement Administration
    • Corrections

School Details

  • School Type: Public, 2-year
  • Website:
  • School Size: 5,000 - 10,000

Continued List of All Criminal Jusitice Programs in Mississippi


Northwest Mississippi Community College

4975 Hwy 51 N, Senatobia, MS 38668-1714
Phone: (662) 562-3200

University of Southern Mississippi

118 College Drive # 0001, Hattiesburg, MS 39406-0001
Phone: (601) 266-1000

Alcorn State University

1000 ASU Dr Ste 359, Alcorn State, MS 39096-7500
Phone: (601) 877-6100

Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College

51 Main Street, Perkinston, MS 39573
Phone: (866) 735-1122

Delta State University

Hwy 8 West, Cleveland, MS 38733
Phone: (662) 846-3000

Northeast Mississippi Community College

101 Cunningham Blvd, Booneville, MS 38829
Phone: (662) 728-7751

Hinds Community College

505 East Main Street, Raymond, MS 39154
Phone: (601) 857-5261

Holmes Community College

#1 Hill St, Goodman, MS 39079
Phone: (662) 472-2312

Copiah-Lincoln Community College

1001 Co-Lin Lane, Wesson, MS 39191
Phone: (601) 643-5101

Mississippi College

200 South Capitol Street, Clinton, MS 39058
Phone: (601) 925-3000

Mississippi Correctional Officer Certification Requirements

Mississippi's Department of Corrections is continually searching for recruits who are able to manage the challenging role of Corrections Officer employed in the state's many penitentiaries and county jails. Because of some of the more rigorous aspects of the role, the Mississippi Department of Corrections only hires those candidates who meet or exceed all of the minimum standards for the role. To this effect, the DOC has created a multi-stage process in order to ensure new personnel is a good fit for the role. To start this process, applicants must possess the following basic eligibility requirements:

  • Proof of age
  • Proof of United States citizenship
  • Possess a valid Mississippi driver's license
  • Are without felony or domestic violence convictions
  • Possess good moral character
  • Possess a high school diploma or GED
  • Veterans to have proof of honorable discharge
  • Proof of negative drug test
  • Completed and accurate application form

With proof of these items provided, suitable candidates will be contacted to advance to the second level of assessment. The variety of assessments at this level will allow candidates to showcase their aptitude for the corrections officer role:

  • Fitness assessment
  • Physical assessment by qualified medical personnel
  • Written test of knowledge
  • Mental health assessment
  • Extensive personal and professional background check

Candidates who pass the assessment portion of the hiring process will be placed on a short list and contacted Mississippi's Human Resources department with further information regarding the final step in the hiring process. Conditional employment may be extended to these candidates - employment terms become finalized when candidates pass basic training at the state academy.

Mississippi Department of Corrections

633 North State Street
Jackson, MS 39202
Phone: (601) 359-5600

Mississippi Correctional Officer Employment & Outlook

Correctional Officer Salary: Mississippi vs National Salary Comparison

Source: BLS State Cross-Industry Estimates 2011

The state Department of Corrections in Mississippi encourages citizens who are pursuing careers in state service through strong growth, namely as front-line correctional officers. At this time, the median income for correctional officers throughout Mississippi is lower at $24,700 than the national median income at $39,800, however according to occupational data for the state of Mississippi, available at and published by state trends are predicted to experience a 21% growth curve from now until 2022 as compared to the national growth rate of 5%. This predicted growth pattern translates into 200 new openings and existing vacancies annually.

Occupational Employment Statistics for Correctional Officers (

Mississippi Correctional Officer Salaries By Area

The table below lists career information organized by the BLS for correctional officers in Mississippi. The table is sorted by total employment, with the largest metropolitan areas listed first.

AreaTotal EmploymentAverage Hourly WageAverage Annual Salary
Gulfport, Biloxi-$13.56$28,210