Corrections Officer Preston Patterson receives Life Saving Metal.

Correctional Officer

GS-0007

Position Overview

Correctional Officers maintain the safety and integrity of correctional institutions and community-based rehabilitation facilities by providing correctional treatment and supervision of criminal offenders.

This position is represented at the following bureaus

Bureau of Indian Affairs

Candidate Description

The ideal candidate would be able to work with and positively influence difficult and dangerous offenders, exhibiting excellent reasoning skills, strength of character, and acquired correctional skills. They are vigilant and able to react quickly in the case of emergencies.

Specialty Areas

Correctional counselors in specialized treatment or rehabilitation programs.

Work Environment

Work is performed in detention/correctional institutions or community-based detention/correctional treatment or rehabilitation facilities.

Minimum Education Requirements

Please see the Individual Occupation Requirements  on the OPM websites.

Career Level Requirements

Responsibilities by Level

  • Entry:

    • Provide oral and written reports concerning the behavior and progress of individual inmates
    • Supervises criminal offenders while in detention/correctional institutions or community-based detention/correctional treatment or rehabilitation facilities
    • Enforces standards, rules, and regulations governing the operation of the detention/correctional facilities and programs
    • Settles disputes between inmates.

  • Mid:

    • Responsible for maintaining institution security, inmate conduct and discipline, controlling contraband, safety, and housekeeping and sanitation
    • Supervise inmate work details; provide supporting services for educational, recreational, and religious inmate activities
    • Ensures appropriate documentation is maintained
    • Conducts institution orientation for offenders. 

  • Journey:

    • Provides general and specialized techniques in corrections
    • Oversees the admission and departure of criminal offenders according to regulations and operational description
    • Instructs classes and conducts practical exercises according to pre-established lesson plans and course outlines
    • Observe and interview offenders to make recommendations regarding quarters assignment, work assignments, security classification, and individual program goals.

  • Senior:

    • Identifies training needs 
    • Develops and revises training materials
    • Conducts group therapy sessions, dormitory and community meetings, self-help sessions, or other formal rehabilitative or correctional activities
    • Provide substantially full-time treatment and counseling services to inmates
    • Identify possible problem areas for offenders and provide guidance in finding solutions

Click to read more

Strengths by Level

Entry 4-5
Mid 6-7
Journey 7-8
Senior 9-11
  • Accountability
    Holds self and others accountable for measurable high-quality, timely, and cost-effective results. Determines objectives, sets priorities, and delegates work. Accepts responsibility for mistakes. Complies with established control systems and rules.
    Show Tool Tip
    Entry 4-5
    Mid 6-7
    Journey 7-8
    Senior 9-11
  • Adaptability
    Simultaneously accepts and adapts to change while remaining effective and task-focused in a fast-paced and constantly changing workplace environment.
    Show Tool Tip
    Entry 4-5
    Mid 6-7
    Journey 7-8
    Senior 9-11
  • Clerical
    Knowledge of filing, typing, entering data, maintaining records, taking shorthand, and using and completing forms.
    Show Tool Tip
    Entry 4-5
    Mid 6-7
    Journey 7-8
    Senior 9-11
  • Compliance
    Knowledge of procedures for assessing, evaluating, and monitoring programs or projects for compliance with Federal laws, regulations, and guidance.
    Show Tool Tip
    Entry 4-5
    Mid 6-7
    Journey 7-8
    Senior 9-11
  • Conflict Management
    Manages and resolves conflicts, grievances, confrontations, or disagreements in a constructive manner to minimize negative personal impact.
    Show Tool Tip
    Entry 4-5
    Mid 6-7
    Journey 7-8
    Senior 9-11
  • Conflict Resolution
    Manages and resolves conflicts, grievances, confrontations or disagreements in a constructive manner to minimize negative personal and/or organizational impact.
    Show Tool Tip
    Entry 4-5
    Mid 6-7
    Journey 7-8
    Senior 9-11
  • Critical Thinking
    Assesses the authenticity, accuracy, and value of information. Uses logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
    Show Tool Tip
    Entry 4-5
    Mid 6-7
    Journey 7-8
    Senior 9-11
  • De-Escalation Techniques
    Knowledge of the techniques for reducing the intensity of a conflict or potentially violent situation.
    Show Tool Tip
    Entry 4-5
    Mid 6-7
    Journey 7-8
    Senior 9-11
  • Decision Making
    Makes sound, well-informed, and objective decisions; perceives the impact and implications of decisions; commits to action, even in uncertain situations, to accomplish organizational goals; causes change.
    Show Tool Tip
    Entry 4-5
    Mid 6-7
    Journey 7-8
    Senior 9-11
  • Detention
    Knowledge of the policies and procedures for detaining criminal suspects including processing, fingerprinting, detention requests, informing detainee of charges, and transportation.
    Show Tool Tip
    Entry 4-5
    Mid 6-7
    Journey 7-8
    Senior 9-11
  • Developing Others
    Develops the ability of others to perform and contribute to the organization by providing ongoing feedback and by providing opportunities to learn through formal and informal methods.
    Show Tool Tip
    Entry 4-5
    Mid 6-7
    Journey 7-8
    Senior 9-11
  • Education and Training
    Knowledge of teaching, training, research, making presentations, lecturing, testing, and other instructional methods.
    Show Tool Tip
    Entry 4-5
    Mid 6-7
    Journey 7-8
    Senior 9-11
  • Empathy
    Displays a sense of shared experience and understanding with another person's situation.
    Show Tool Tip
    Entry 4-5
    Mid 6-7
    Journey 7-8
    Senior 9-11
  • Facilitation
    Knowledge of the concepts, principles, theories, and techniques of facilitation used to lead meetings, workshops, and other collaborative exercises; able to lead diverse groups to find consensus in shared interests and objectives.
    Show Tool Tip
    Entry 4-5
    Mid 6-7
    Journey 7-8
    Senior 9-11
  • First Response
    Knowledge of emergency management methods, such as first aid, rescue techniques, and threat assessments.
    Show Tool Tip
    Entry 4-5
    Mid 6-7
    Journey 7-8
    Senior 9-11
  • Health and Safety Awareness
    Applies the knowledge and understanding necessary to adhere to and implement health and safety laws, regulations, and other occupational standards for the purpose of establishing, promoting, and maintaining a safe work environment for oneself and others.
    Show Tool Tip
    Entry 4-5
    Mid 6-7
    Journey 7-8
    Senior 9-11
  • Influencing/Negotiating
    Persuades others to accept recommendations, cooperate, or change their behavior; works with others towards an agreement; negotiates to find mutually acceptable solutions.
    Show Tool Tip
    Entry 4-5
    Mid 6-7
    Journey 7-8
    Senior 9-11
  • Integrity/Honesty
    Contributes to maintaining the integrity of the organization; displays high standards of ethical conduct and understands the impact of violating these standards on an organization, self, and others; is trustworthy.
    Show Tool Tip
    Entry 4-5
    Mid 6-7
    Journey 7-8
    Senior 9-11
  • Interpersonal Skills
    Treats others with courtesy, sensitivity, and respect. Considers and responds appropriately to the needs and feelings of different people in different situations.
    Show Tool Tip
    Entry 4-5
    Mid 6-7
    Journey 7-8
    Senior 9-11
  • Oral Communication
    Expresses information (for example, ideas or facts) to individuals or groups effectively, taking into account the audience and nature of the information (for example, technical, sensitive, controversial); makes clear and convincing oral presentations; listens to others, attends to nonverbal cues, and responds appropriately.
    Show Tool Tip
    Entry 4-5
    Mid 6-7
    Journey 7-8
    Senior 9-11
  • Physical Strength and Agility
    Ability to bend, lift, climb, stand, and walk for long periods of time; ability to perform moderately heavy laboring work.
    Show Tool Tip
    Entry 4-5
    Mid 6-7
    Journey 7-8
    Senior 9-11
  • Problem Solving
    Identifies problems; determines accuracy and relevance of information; uses sound judgment to generate and evaluate alternatives, and to make recommendations.
    Show Tool Tip
    Entry 4-5
    Mid 6-7
    Journey 7-8
    Senior 9-11
  • Psychology
    Knowledge of the concepts, principles, and theories of human behavior and performance in various contexts, mental processes, or the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
    Show Tool Tip
    Entry 4-5
    Mid 6-7
    Journey 7-8
    Senior 9-11
  • Public Safety and Security
    Knowledge of public safety and security operations; occupational health and safety; or rules, regulations, precautions, and prevention techniques for the protection of people, data, and property.
    Show Tool Tip
    Entry 4-5
    Mid 6-7
    Journey 7-8
    Senior 9-11
  • Reasoning
    Identifies rules, principles, or relationships that explain facts, data, or other information; analyzes information and makes correct inferences or draws accurate conclusions.
    Show Tool Tip
    Entry 4-5
    Mid 6-7
    Journey 7-8
    Senior 9-11
  • Resilience
    Deals effectively with pressure; remains optimistic and persistent, even under adversity. Recovers quickly from setbacks.
    Show Tool Tip
    Entry 4-5
    Mid 6-7
    Journey 7-8
    Senior 9-11
  • Restraint and Self-defense
    Knowledge of techniques and methods used to restrain hostile individuals, including the models and guidelines on appropriate level and nature of force for self-defense.
    Show Tool Tip
    Entry 4-5
    Mid 6-7
    Journey 7-8
    Senior 9-11
  • Role Modeling
    Presents oneself as an effective role model, in such a manner as to reflect credit upon the organization by displaying uncompromising values (e.g., honor, courage, commitment).
    Show Tool Tip
    Entry 4-5
    Mid 6-7
    Journey 7-8
    Senior 9-11
  • Safety
    Exemplifies the behaviors which reduce the risk of injury and illness from hazards on and off duty.
    Show Tool Tip
    Entry 4-5
    Mid 6-7
    Journey 7-8
    Senior 9-11
  • Security
    Knowledge of the laws, regulations, and guidelines related to securing personnel, facilities, and information, including the requirements for handling, transporting, and protecting classified information and proper reporting of security incidents.
    Show Tool Tip
    Entry 4-5
    Mid 6-7
    Journey 7-8
    Senior 9-11
  • Situational Awareness
    Continually assesses and maintains an accurate interpretation of one's current surroundings to take appropriate action at any given time.
    Show Tool Tip
    Entry 4-5
    Mid 6-7
    Journey 7-8
    Senior 9-11
  • Stress Management
    Functions productively under varying degrees of pressure and frequency of recurring and newly arising stressors that impede completion of one's job duties and responsibilities.
    Show Tool Tip
    Entry 4-5
    Mid 6-7
    Journey 7-8
    Senior 9-11
  • Stress Tolerance
    Deals calmly and effectively with high stress situations (for example, tight deadlines, hostile individuals, emergency situations, dangerous situations).
    Show Tool Tip
    Entry 4-5
    Mid 6-7
    Journey 7-8
    Senior 9-11
  • Technical Documentation
    Knowledge of procedures for developing technical and operational support documentation.
    Show Tool Tip
    Entry 4-5
    Mid 6-7
    Journey 7-8
    Senior 9-11
  • Trustworthiness
    Demonstrates credibility based on past actions.
    Show Tool Tip
    Entry 4-5
    Mid 6-7
    Journey 7-8
    Senior 9-11
  • Vehicle Operation
    Knowledge of procedures for operating motor vehicles, including cars, trucks, or watercraft.
    Show Tool Tip
    Entry 4-5
    Mid 6-7
    Journey 7-8
    Senior 9-11
  • Writing
    Recognizes or uses correct English grammar, punctuation, and spelling; communicates information (for example, facts, ideas, or messages) in a succinct and organized manner; produces written information, which may include technical material, that is appropriate for the intended audience.
    Show Tool Tip
    Entry 4-5
    Mid 6-7
    Journey 7-8
    Senior 9-11

Common Pathways

Candidates who made this career change most commonly held these occupations...

66.7%
33.3%

Environmental Protection Specialist

See Position Details

Where We Are

DOI employs people at more than 2,400 locations across the United States and territories. Use the Position Locator tool to see where current DOI employees work. To check for job opportunities, scroll down and click "See jobs on USAjobs.gov."