A detention officer is a person who is assigned to a prison, jail, or other detention facility. These facilities typically house convicted criminals or persons who are being held, prior to standing trial. The detention officer works to maintain order within the facility and to ensure that inmates are safely held and guarded, as directed by court sentences or criminal law procedures.
Most jails and detention centers have very strict systems and conduct policies in place for all activities. It is the job of the detention officer to ensure that these systems and operations are followed with strict adherence. Almost all aspects of inmate life may require oversight and supervision by detention officers, and this can especially include time away from cells, such as recreation activities, meal times, studies, therapy, or other daily interactions and events that those housed in the prison are engaged in.
Most detention officers will be required to hold at least some form of law enforcement certification. Many employees in this area seek out degrees specific to this career path in vocational schools or community colleges. Detention officers must possess acceptable levels of physical fitness and be well-trained in self-defense, weapon use, and crowd control. Because of the round-the-clock aspect of prisoner detainment, detention officers typically are assigned to shifts that may include daytime, evening, or overnight work requirements.
Detention Officer Tasks
Maintain security of the jail or institution.
Supervise prisoners and maintain security, rules, regulations and cleanliness in correctional facility.
Responsible for transporting or moving prisoners.
Receive and secure prisoners until their release.