Essay Example on Training Techniques for Correctional Officers

Published: 2021-06-23
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9 min to read
Vanderbilt University
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Risk Indicator for Misconduct

Risk indicators help to profile officers depending on their code of conduct while on duty or off duty. The reports on misconduct probes into insightful investigations on complaint cases. Recent research on the rise of correctional officer misconduct and arrest shows that the probability of an officer showing bad behaviors depends on the background information about the officer at the time of recruitment. However, working in a correctional facility involves a high level of stress hence a likelihood of misconduct by an officer. The analysis of current civil servants' misconduct includes scrutiny of the financial status of each officer. An officer who has large sums of money without justification on the origin of such cash is questionable for engagement in malpractices at the workplace such as sneaking illegal substances into the correctional facility. Therefore, large cash deposits are one of the risk indicators of police misconduct. The power of officer misconduct not only affects their career but also tarnishes the public image of the agency (Bennett, Crewe & Wahidin 2013). Another factor to focus on is the analysis of personal and lifestyle changes of every officer. An unusual change in officers' personal attributes such as aggressive behaviors also helps to determine the current officer misconduct. More so, checking on the circle of associates also tells more about the general conduct of an officer.

Training Techniques

One of the techniques involves changing of recruitment criteria. It is a fact that most hiring process entails getting appropriate and suitable candidates for the job. However, obtaining a credible correctional officer needs standardized criteria that are acceptable, because it is not easy to find out on the integrity and decision-making of prison officers right at the recruitment stage. Refresher courses can be provided for already existing agents to help them gain knowledge and skills on ethics. In-service jobs and training act as a motivator to enhance officers' ethical conduct. The new recruitment criteria will involve a series of interviews and gathering of background information; a comparison of the information is weighed against an acceptable standard (Finney, Stergiopoulos, Hensel, Bonato & Dewa, 2013). Candidates who score below the set criteria should not be allowed to proceed as a correctional officer. At this stage, educational level and the history of previous employment are predictors of good police conduct. Besides, training for knowledge and skills, the training should aim at ensuring better job performance. It allows for uplifting the standards f code of conduct. Therefore, as the management, it is important to identify necessary needs for a training program, have clear goals and objectives as well as cater for specific needs of correctional officers.

Creation of a professional code of conduct is another technique that will help to mold officers' behavior. The code of conduct sets a collective expectation of every officer. Nevertheless, the correctional agency should not train only on professional ethics, but the created system should be self-regulating. In this case, whoever goes against the expected behavior while at the job or off duty faces punishment. A lack of well-organized standards that controls officer's conduct can lead to a risk of mismanagement of the correctional facility and alarming insecurity within the correctional facility. Additionally, having an ethical platform in place, it also helps in increasing officers' responsibility about their course of actions. Thus to improve accountability, officers job performance gets an evaluation as well as check on their corrective actions.

Successful Implementation of the Training Methods

Changing recruitment criteria is not satisfactory unless its implementation is successful. The application process will involve recruitment for retention. The management of the agency needs to understand that the process of recruitment aims at getting long term working officers. Compensation also works as a motivating factor to most correctional officers other than their careers. Therefore, implementing the new criteria will involve the incorporation of concrete payment plans. More so, traditional recruitment is long gone because of the massive development in the use of technology, therefore, to increase the number of applicants as correctional officers, it is necessary to use the internet in conducting the recruitment process. The process should also check on gender balance to avoid discrimination during the hiring process.

On the other hand, successful implementation of a code of conduct revolves around better communication of the policies o the agency while on duty and during the training. It will involve keeping track of every correctional officer to ensure total conformity to the rules and regulations of behavior conduct (Clear, Cole & Reisig 2013). Immediate disciplinary action should in application against unacceptable behavior changes. The professional code of conduct should be clear and precise. For instance, the code of conduct should be specific on when to use necessary force as an officer and avoiding malpractices such as gambling.

Effectiveness of the Training Techniques

The effectiveness of the recruitment criteria and professional code of conduct will rest upon the development of good behaviors among the correctional officers. The current and new officers to be recruited must be certified to meet the requirements of the job descriptions and expectations. The inmates' management and care for each other will improve through the day to day learning and experience on having strong integrity and a sense of professionalism. The code of conduct will be useful if the safety and security of the workplace is well manageable. It involves the understanding of one's environment of work, policies, and procedures. Good behaviors at the workplace should be appreciated to motivate other officers who tend to go astray. The code of ethics will serve as a framework of discharging the duties as an eligible officer to facilitate proper management and smooth flow of operations at the agency. Additionally, the correction officer will have a right to due process when he or she faces the accusations of misconduct. The aim of having a due process in place helps to administer justice to the accused officer. The techniques will contribute to improving service delivery at the agency such as maintaining peace, rehabilitating the inmates, abide by the law and keep track of inmate activities and behavior.



Bennett, J., Crewe, B., & Wahidin, A. (Eds.). (2013). Understanding prison staff. Willan.

Clear, T. R., Cole, G. F., & Reisig, M. D. (2013). American corrections. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.

Finney, C., Stergiopoulos, E., Hensel, J., Bonato, S., & Dewa, C. S. (2013). Organizational stressors associated with job stress and burnout in correctional officers: a systematic review. BMC Public Health, 13(1), 82.


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